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God entered concretely, in the flesh, in the midst of human lives and he continues to dwell in the midst of human lives, in the midst of our lives.

Pause and consider this Mystery anew in this holy Season.  Remove it from the restrictive confines of its familiarity.  Just pause a moment before the Nativity scene and ponder as did Mary, as did the shepherds and the wise men.  And realize that if God entered our history in a given moment, it was a moment whose impact would never cease to be felt.

Pause and consider this Mystery anew in this holy Season. Remove it from the restrictive confines of its familiarity. Just pause a moment before the Nativity scene and ponder as did Mary, as did the shepherds and the wise men. And realize that if God entered our history in a given moment, it was a moment whose impact would never cease to be felt.


DALLAS, TX (Catholic Online) - People often say to me, “God seems so far away. I don’t know how to find Him.” I have to acknowledge in honesty, that there have been times when that has been my sentiment as well. I have noted that this feeling has been particularly strong when there were sinful actions in my life that had not been reconciled, or when my prayer life lagged.

But what has come again and again to my consciousness this Advent and Christmas time is quite the opposite sentiment. I find myself marveling at how incredibly, unimaginably close God is! Perhaps he is so close that we often fail to even look for him there. Have you ever experienced times on a bright sunny day when you have searched for your sunglasses only to discover that they are already on your head? Have you ever searched for your keys only to find they are already in your pocket or in your purse?

Those experiences, I think, begin to give us a clue as to how close God has come to us and why we fail to find him. Yet, these examples only hint at the truth because God is much closer than this. Somehow our unconverted imagination seems to present God as far off in the heavens, far removed from our sight, or dwelling in the peoples of past ages and coming to us only in well-worn stories that take their place behind familiar fairy tales and children’s stories.

We often miss the impact of the great Mystery we celebrate at Christmas because it is as close to us as the nose on our face and so transforming for our daily lives that it goes beyond our wildest imaginings. What we celebrate is precisely a God who has chosen not to remain distant and unknowable; the Lord and creator of the universe who has chosen not to live in realms impenetrable beyond our sight. We celebrate a God who so humbled himself that he became “God-with-us” “Emmanuel,” taking flesh in the womb of our sister, the Virgin Mary.

Pause and consider this Mystery anew in this holy Season. Remove it from the restrictive confines of its familiarity. Just pause a moment before the Nativity scene and ponder as did Mary, as did the shepherds and the wise men. And realize that if God entered our history in a given moment, it was a moment whose impact would never cease to be felt. No moment in time can confine God. God entered human history and God lives in human history. God entered concretely, in the flesh, in the midst of human lives and he continues to dwell in the midst of human lives, in the midst of our lives.

How can I convey to you this awesome truth? The Incarnation means that God’s presence has been woven into life’s very fabric. Human life, human actions can never be understood in the same way anymore. Even the simplest human actions now take on a deeper meaning. Either they connect us, unite us, to the God who has entered our history or they separate us from him. Whatever we do, together or alone, we do now with Christ. We eat with him, we talk with him, we work with him, we play with him. He is present in our joys and our sorrows, in our waking and in our rest. He is present in our every moment, in our every undertaking.

Our lives have meaning and purpose because the Son of Man, as Jesus liked to call himself, has come this way before and is with us now. Just as Mary held him within her both by grace and in the flesh, so Christ is now able to be present within us in an awesome lifelong encounter. Like Mary, by virtue of our Baptism, we have become Christ-bearers and we also can see him in the face of one another, most especially in the poor and the suffering. So profound can this union become, if we would only say yes, that with Paul we could exclaim, “…[I]t is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2: 20)

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Monsignor Mark J. Seitz is the pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church in the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

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1 - 6 of 6 Comments

  1. angela Patch
    4 years ago

    Father,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this article, "Emmanuel, God with us." It left me with much food for thought and has greatly enriched my Christmas! God bless you, Angela

  2. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    I wrote this poem about our Blessed Mother. I use the word Devine instead of Divine showing divinity but meaning the same respect for the Holy Family:

    THE DEVINE ROSE
    BY Holly J. Harrington

    Red Rose of Time Beauty most Devine. Leave your Children the vine.

    Mother of the life most clear, expresses her joy's most Devine.

    Let us cleave to many dark brought back from the Abyss May.

    Purple Hail the Mother's children take back those who seek it.

    Leave the Abyss to it and awake it not for the children of Devine.

    Medals of time sway you not from your Blue Devine's purposes.

    Let the children to the Devine be swayed not.

    Mary Mother not of the world to you I (we) commit Lover's Dew.

    Your Son is most Royal of the Devine, love's sweetness and hope.

  3. rafaelmarie
    4 years ago

    Dear Friend,

    The U.S. Senate is preparing for a vote on its health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). A final vote on cloture is expected December 23 and the vote on passage is expected on December 24.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced his Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 3590, which represents the health care reform bill which will be presented to the Senate for a vote. This proposal is not acceptable. It violates the longstanding federal policy against the use of federal funds for elective abortions and health plans that include such abortions. It also fails to provide adequate conscience protection. This bill should not move forward at this time. Senators should continue to discuss and approve changes that would make it morally acceptable. If this does not occur, the bill should be opposed.

    Please contact your Senators and Representative today! Please click on the link below to send your messages.

    Thanks for all you do in support of life! May you and your families have a Blessed Christmas!

    Sincerely,

    Michael Taylor
    Executive Director


    Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    http://actions.nchla.org/link/target/nchla39349993.aspx

  4. Rita Biesemans
    4 years ago

    I N T H E S I L E N C E

    In the silence of my heart
    I come to love You
    Oh My Lord
    To praise and worship You
    My Master and My Savior
    No words are spoken between us
    Only so soft a whisper
    And in my soul
    An outpouring of so much
    Undeserved love and grace
    For
    How often do I desert You
    Thinking You don't love me
    Forgetting about You
    Oh, how stupid and ungrateful
    Then I am
    For
    Without You I'm nothing
    But a trembling reed
    A creature full of fear
    But,
    Your creature sure I am
    For this immensely grateful
    Oh You, fullness of my soul
    Reason for my existence
    Sole purpose of my life
    Object of my deepest thoughts
    My God and my Almighty
    I will serve You and obey
    Surrender to Your Will divine
    Embrace me with Your burning warmth
    Cradle me in Your Fatherly arms
    Oh, my well-beloved
    Let me borrow from Your Love
    Let Your Mercy shine upon me,
    Your poor and littlest child
    So, that with Your Grace
    I will proclaim
    Your Greatness,
    Your Goodness and
    Your Name
    Through my work and being !!
    Rita B.12/23/2009

  5. Edward.Fullerton
    4 years ago

    "Mane Nobiscum Domine".

  6. Cary
    4 years ago

    Pls dear lord Im here to serve u. Protect my family from evil.

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