The Nativity of our Lord is the beginning of redemption: Jesus embodied God, who would release humans from the bondage of sin.1 That alone moved people to rejoice. Yet the mystery of God
releasing people from sin by becoming human with us and for us fills each human life with something greater than our glad rejoicing: God’s delight over us. That has been so from the beginning of the Christian experience. In the language of our tradition we name that new life, salvation, which is nothing less than living divine life. The first Christians did not think of salvation as reserved for a distant future; they experienced salvation; they were being saved 2 by risen Jesus, as St. Paul often said, in their daily living. Being saved registered as a power to live with freedom in every circumstance.
especially around the tables of God’s word and God’s son. When we are faithful to those practices and to others of our Catholic heritage, we begin to recognize the Spirit at work in us and in the world, and others recognize the Spirit, too.
- Pause in the Trinity’s saving love for you.
- Ask John the Baptizer to present you to Jesus.
- Praise Jesus for embodying God’s goodness and mercy for you.
- Ask Jesus for the grace to live more in unison with his words and example.
- Close, saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus’ prayer schools us to pray and live in greater harmony with others and our Savior, who is with us and who is to come.
- See Matthew 1.21, which specified the name of Jesus, which means the Lord saves.
- 1Corinthians 1.18 is one example from Paul. Peter too, was emphatic, 1Peter 3.21. In Revelation 12.10 the seer, John, heard no less an authority than the voice in heaven announce, “Now have salvation and power come.”
- Galatians 2.4 and Galatians 5.1.
- John 1.14; Philippians 2.6-8; Colossians 2.9; 1Timothy 3.16; Hebrews 2.14-17.
- Psalm-Prayer at Evening Prayer, Monday, Week2. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI summarized this tradition in his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, 13.
- His 2009 encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, 54.
- Hebrews 13.15.
- Luke 6.46-49 recalled a vivid parable.
- Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution: Church in the Modern World, 22.