– 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas –

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth..” [John 1:14]

Today’s reflection on the Incarnation comes from Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI (Dec 19, 2016), who explores the significance of the Incarnation for us.

The incarnate God is called Emmanuel, a name which means God-is-with-us. That fact does not mean immediate festive joy. Our world remains wounded, and wars, strikes, selfishness, and bitterness linger. Our hearts, too, remain wounded. Pain lingers. For a Christian, just as for everyone else, there will be incompleteness, illness, death, senseless hurt, broken dreams, cold, hungry, lonely days of bitterness and a lifetime of inconsummation. 

Reality can be harsh, and Christmas does not ask us to make make-believe. The Incarnation does not promise heaven on earth. It promises heaven in heaven. Here, on earth, it promises us something else – God’s presence in our lives. This presence redeems because knowing that God is with us is what ultimately empowers us to give up bitterness, to forgive, and to move beyond cynicism and bitterness. When God is with us, then pain and happiness are not mutually exclusive, and the agonies and riddles of life do not exclude deep meaning and deep joy.

In the words of Avery Dulles: “The Incarnation does not provide us with a ladder by which to escape from the ambiguities of life and scale the heights of heaven. Rather, it enables us to burrow deep into the heart of planet earth and find it shimmering with divinity.” 

 Let us rejoice that we have a God who dwells with us.


By Mike Humphrys

get the daily reflections sent directly to your email

Thank you, we'll be in touch soon

You can close this page now, or if you would like to learn more about us, check out our website.