Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Immanuel, God with us

“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid Mary.” (Luke 1:30)
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call Him, Immanuel, which means God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

Do not be afraid YL Capernaum sisters and brothers, because you hold with you,
just as Mary did, Immanuel, God with us.

When you are in fatigue and spent, Immanuel
When you don’t know what to do next, Immanuel
When you lose someone precious, Immanuel
When your family feels broken, Immanuel
When you are afraid, Immanuel
When you are discouraged, Immanuel
When you are ill, Immanuel
When someone you love is ill, Immanuel
When you are falling in love, Immanuel
When your dreams come true, Immanuel
When you feel wonder and mystery, Immanuel
When you have joy inexpressible, Immanuel
When the sun comes up again, Immanuel
When the sun goes down, Immanuel
When you are at club, Immanuel
When answering endless emails, Immanuel
When a former club kid contacts you from 21 years ago
on facebook and tells you she is walking with Jesus, Immanuel.
When in deficit, Immanuel
When in surplus, Immanuel
When you are awake, Immanuel
When you die, Immanuel
When you wake again in Heaven, Immanuel
This Christmas dear sisters and brothers, Immanuel, God with us!

Have a blessed Christmas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Things To Ponder

My name is Mary. You probably know me as Jesus’ Mother. I like to ponder and reflect with my friends and loved ones. I have been doing that this morning with the disciple whom Jesus loved, my dear adopted son John. Jesus gave him to me as a son at the floor of the cross. I can never forget that horrible day that was turned into redemption by my son.

That got me thinking back to His birth. John and I are at the Starbucks in downtown Ephesus; a place John has taken me to in the years following Jesus’ resurrection. As I looked at John, my beloved John, memories arose like a steam from my hot coffee rising heavenward. It is still a miracle of awe to me that I was chosen as a 14 year old poor girl in an insignificant town to be the Mother of God. I knew I would say “yes” after I got over the magnitude of my angelic visit that contained a message for the ages. I knew because I had dreamed of being the handmade of Yahweh and being significant to His plan. I think we have all had these feelings. It took a simple “yes” to turn that dream into reality and change the entire course of my life.

I don’t want you to think I said “yes” lightly. I knew “yes” meant a road of unknown suffering, rejection and possibly death. My dear Joseph, who loved Jesus as I do, protected me from that. He could have walked away but he chose to embrace me and the path of suffering. The night of the birth was frightening and confusing, but glorious with mystery. The child came so fast that we could not get a place. A kind innkeeper gave us shelter with his livestock in a barn. I was thankful just to find a place, Yahweh be praised!

The one I kept in my womb and pondered for 9 months emerged from my womb. This birth was no different yet it was the birth of all births. As I took Him to my breast and nursed Him, I touched his nose and said, “You little one are the Word become flesh.” The Shepherds and Magi, who came in beautiful acts of worship, could only add to this supreme moment. They had been led by the Holy Spirit to see this Immanuel, God with us. God has come to dwell with us; all His power and majesty came to dwell in the smallest and most fragile of beings.

As John and I sipped coffee, I looked deeply and lovingly in his eyes and said, “Son, He came as one so little and least, for people like me. A little girl was chosen among men and women. And so, He comes for all but I think He really loves little, least ones like me. In any case, I am His mother and saw Him over the years reach countless number of lepers, sick, dying, disabled and women, all those who counted themselves “the least” and cursed. He came as a baby embracing fragility and weakness in my arms.”

And now John, I, and the entire family of God spread around the world proclaim my Son to all who know themselves small and least. We tell them there is a man named Jesus who came to live in them just as He lived in my womb for 9 months. We proclaim this Jesus who would stoop from heaven to live with us.

“Hmmmm….John, I think we need to ponder this some more.”