Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: December 24-25, 2023
We are celebrating today a great love story. A God whose love is extreme, radical, passionate. This is a God who comes to us, even letting go of all power to become one of us. God comes as a weak, vulnerable baby. This God is in love with you and waits for your yes.
In Jesus, the word became flesh, a visible word of God spoken to humanity. Saying, you are loved, come to me. Christmas celebrates this passionate love story. We sometimes think of Christmas as a nice, sentimental, family celebration. Something for religious people. But, in the Jesus of the Gospels, we see one who came to be with all, those with no family, those distant from God, those not religious in the usual way.
Jesus came and was received not by the powerful, the kings, the religious leaders. Rather Jesus was received by the sinners, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the lepers, the poor, the foreigners, the marginalized. In Jesus, God broke down the walls that kept out those rejected by the so called good and pious society.
If we are going to join in this great love story, then we need to be where God is today. Where is Jesus in our world today? Where will we find God today?
The Church needs to be where Jesus is in the world today. So, we need to prayerfully watch and reflect. Where would Jesus of the Gospel most likely be found today?
I would not start looking among the rich, the powerful, the famous. I would start looking among the poor, often hidden among us. I would look among the refugees, often rejected, the single mother or widow, the elderly neglected, the sick, those who look different from us. We need to look for God among those often ignored or rejected by so called good society. We need to look for God among those that we sometimes see only as sinners. Including within your own heart when you feel that you are not worthy.
Today as we celebrate Christmas we are called to enter into this great and passionate love story. The love story of God coming to us in weakness, coming to speak a word of love to us, reaching out to us. Will we say yes to this invitation?