Stand on Your Head.
If you think about it, Christmas is a season of the unexpected. Famed ninetieth century Catholic Author G. K. Chesterton once observed that the only way to properly view Christmas is to stand on one’s head. Consider it: God becomes man. A Virgin becomes a mother. A donkey becomes the throne of the Queen Mother. Angels visit shepherds. Shepherds herald salvation. Kings keel to an infant. The whole world is turned upside down. The Virgin Mother herself, in the Gospel of Luke, immediately following this Sunday’s reading observes the irony of God’s plan: “he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.” God is indeed a God of surprises.
The unique view of God that we possess is one of a God who enters into our reality. In other great religious traditions, humanity is the passive agent that seeks to elevate, to ascend, to the divine, a process that sometimes take many lifetimes. We rejoice in the truth of a God who enters in to our reality, seeks to share in our joys and sufferings alike. As we celebrate the reality of Christmas, let us be attentive to the ways of God. He is a God who likes to shatter paradigms, blow-out odds and favors the lowly. Be attentive to the ways he may wish to reveal himself to you as we approach this celebration of the Nativity. We will see him in Word and in Sacrament, we will meet him in prayer. But will we also see him in the poor, and unkempt? Will we see him in a troubled relationship? We will see him in the midst of our own struggles? He has come to us, let us rejoice when we find him. Have a blessed Christmas!
-Rev. Casey F. Jones
P.S. On Friday, January 11 at 9:00 AM, the Diocese of Venice will be recording two Masses to be aired on television later in the month. Fr. Casey will celebrate the Masses and School Children from St. Elizabeth Seton will be in the congregation. We invite all parishioners who would like to be a part of this celebration and a service the Diocese offers to those homebound who cannot attend Mass. Please join us.