No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have everything,
look down on others,
those who have no need even of God
—for them there will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone to come on their behalf
- will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.
- Oscar Romero
Romero was archbishop to the poor of El Salvador. He was assassinated while celebrating Mass. Romero speaks a hard word here - something difficult for us to hear and understand in our first world comfort. But what he says is true. Christmas is for those who need someone to come on their behalf. if we think and live as if there is no God - then we can have no idea of what Advent and Christmas are all about...
Let's pause together and pray...
O God, help me to know
how much I need you...
And if I think I don't need you,
or that I can get by without you some days
- even for years -
then open my eyes to my foolishness
and lead me home to you...
I need you to come,
I need you to come for me,
I need you to be there for me, Lord,
I need you to come on my behalf,
to be my strength, my guide,
my help, my Lord, my Savior...
I need you to come to save me, Lord,
to save me from so many things
that don't make me happy,
that leave me sad,
that don't help me grow,
that keep me from love,
that have no place renting space
in my mind and in my heart:
from all these things, Lord,
come on my behalf
and save me...
Teach me to hunger for time with you,
for peace, for prayer...
Teach me to thirst for your word,
for your truth, your wisdom and your counsel...
Teach me to long for the peace
that only you can give,
the peace I so much need...
Show me how I am poor, Lord,
and how your grace is the greatest treasure
I might ever possess...
You hear the cry of the poor, Lord:
hear the cry of my poor heart
and help me, this Christmas,
to hear the cry of those in need...
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