Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 12/24

Image: Candle at the Window

A reflection on the gift of Christmas for Christmas Eve day:

We know what the Incarnation means to us, that God the Son, by becoming human, caught up our human nature into his, made each one of us one with him. He took our human nature for is own and gave us his. He experienced everything that we do, except sin, and he even took upon himself the guilt and punishment of sin.

He made himself subject to our limitations: to discomfort, poverty, hunger and thirst and pain. He knew fear, temptation and failure. He suffered loneliness, betrayal, unrequited love, utter desolation of spirit, the sense of despair and death. He suffered all these things, and all the secret, incommunicable things known to each individual, which can never be told; and he overcame them all.

Christ lived each of our lives. He has faced all our fears, suffered all our griefs, overcome all our temptations, labored in all of our labors, loved in all of our loves, died all our deaths.

He took our humanity, just as it is, with all its wretchedness and ugliness, and gave it back to us just as his humanity is: transfigured by the beauty of his living, filled full of his joy. So that no matter what suffering we meet, we can meet it with the whole power of the love that has overcome the world.

God intimately and silently shares all of our secrets, no matter how hidden we may keep them from other people. God knows our hidden selves, and still God is pleased to be with us. God rejoices in our triumphs and shares the pain of our unspoken sorrows - all in complete and undisturbed solidarity with us...

God has chosen to be one of us. Rejoice in your humanity! Celebrate your individuality! Know that God treasures you.

O God who comes to us in Advent, help us to recognize our humanity as a gift that, with Jesus, we share with you.

- A Child in Winter with Caryll Houselander, edited by Thomas Hoffman, pages 43-45


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