Reflections 15 Dec 2002

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3rd Sunday of Advent

The Invasion of Holiness

In previous weeks of Advent we have looked first at the potential for change, and then at the hope that the Christmas story bears. This week we open another dimension of this foundational narrative of our faith - holiness.

To be 'holy' means to be 'set apart' for a specific purpose.

The baby in the manger was a 'special one' - a holy baby, set apart for God's purposes. We do well to remember that the infant of Bethlehem would one day be the bearer of all things on Calvary. Commentator Frederick Buechner calls this an 'invasion of holiness', for it comes from outside of us. No human mind would ever have conceived of the incarnation of God! God has come among us and it was God's idea.

We are therefore called into the 'God-likeness' of Jesus. By our living and serving we too, are given to holiness.

I invite you to reflect on this in the words of medieval mystic and contemplative, Meister Eckhart:

"We are all meant to be mothers of God.
What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself?
And what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace and if I am not also full of grace?
What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture?
This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of God is begotten in us."

Where does Jesus need to be born in you this Christmas?