23 December 2016

Cheers to Jesus



Today's readings:

  • Malachi 3:1-4, 4:5-6
  • Luke 1:57-66

In the Douay, the RSV, and the NABRE with other Mass texts.

And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea. 
Et factus est timor super omnes vicinos eorum: et super omnia montana Judaeae divulgabantur omnia verba haec.
Luke 1:65

The antiphon tonight, at Vespers, is O Emmanuel:
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver, the hope of the nations and their Saviour: Come and save us, O Lord our God.
God with us. "We're on the Lord's team, the winning side," say the hosts at the Catholic Man Show. #CheerstoJesus OK, yeah, I get that: I kinda giggle along every time they say it. But having God with us and being with God are two different things entirely.

When I went to the Monastery in February, I was amazed to hear from various friends about how many people didn't even know I was religious. It's really easy to pick up from my social media, sure, but I'm talking about people who knew me face to face. I may have had God with me - but clearly I was not very often with God.

So I wonder what I did wrong.

I have a few ideas... I'm working on them. But while we have God with us: if you went on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? I wonder now.

The neighbors reacting in fear... why now? Surely they knew the childless couple were now with child. Certainly they must have heard that the former talking man was now mute. Why, eight days after the birth, do they suddenly have fear? Because the talking but formerly mute priest who was until recently childless but now had a son - was blessing God. I mean, sure, his job's a priest and all, but that's the family business. It doesn't mean much, you know, when you run into him at the market. And now, he's blessing God, like out there in the street.

That's what we don't want to have happen, you know: seeing the blessing God in public and our friends get scared. I think that's where I failed. Maybe. I didn't want to scare the neighbors.