Christmas 1 – Year A
A reflection on what it means to be an image of G*D is always in order.
G*D's gracious deed keeps boiling down to one – loving kindness. Each time we think we have found another facet to G*D it is the same old one – loving kindness. Each time we get discouraged with humanity (all the various inhumanities do, at least, further define what humanity is not) we find that our base line continues to be our imaging loving kindness.
Surely Israel is G*D's people and they will not deal falsely! What hopefulness G*D has in the face of nearly constant betrayal. It would be so easy to give in to the base line of betrayal (Garden, Abel, and onward) as our identity. Surely we are G*D's people and we will not deal falsely! What apparent folly this is in light of what we do to one another. Can we suspend our disbelief enough to know that all this is a play and wherever we strut, we will eventually put such façade behind us and reveal the denouement toward which we have always been moving - loving kindness
Finally it is not a particular message or messenger, no matter how you would want to massage it, redemption is always around loving kindness. This is what has lifted and carried us all these days. This is what lifts and carries us today. This is what will continue to lift and carry.
So, again having thrown back the curtain, will we live more closely and daily with loving kindness? While birth happens, will Birth Happen to us that we will more closely walk our image until there is Emmanuel (G*D/US), the logical and experiential extension of Emmanuel (G*D/JESUS).
This revelation of Emmanuel comes not from paring away until some kernel is revealed. Rather, it is an extension of our base line into every mundane part of our life, every gracious deed.
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After writing the above and before posting it, I ran across this snippet from Sheer Joy by Matthew Fox:
FOX: Where do you ground your deep conviction that joy and delight are so central to the spiritual experience? I find your teaching to contradict centuries of teaching that told us to begin spiritual practices with purgation.
AQUINAS: God delights. God is always rejoicing and doing so with a single and simple delight. In fact, it is appropriate to say that love and joy are the only human emotions that we can attribute literally to God. Love and joy exist properly in God. They constitute the basis of all attraction – love is the origin and joy is the end result. God is happiness by the divine essence, for God is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by God's essence. On the other hand, human beings are happy, as Boethius says, by participation.