Jocelyne Fallu, FDLS
“What do you Christians really celebrate at Christmastime?”
Each time I am asked this question I feel challenged.
If it is true that Jesus, the Son of God and of Mary, became flesh at a precise moment in human history, it is no less true that he continues to be incarnated every day in us and by us, in our world. This is the profound significance of his incarnation in our humanity. In the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, God conclusively delivers us from evil by offering us his Love. It is a sacred trust! Nevertheless, the advent of a world where love reigns must come about through daily events, here, and wherever human beings are found. It is the logic of incarnation! The progressive, free and loving response of humanity to the Love that saves becomes essential.
Despite the liberation assured in Jesus, the societal challenges that threaten national and international peace remain daunting... It is difficult to comprehend! They continue to surface one after another, from generation to generation, from one century to the next. Here at home, we see fraudulent collusion in the construction industry, a right-wing government that stifles freedoms, the overwhelming reality of the occupiers, distressing numbers of unemployed, victims of violence, of dependency, often without hope. Does the theme of Advent 2011 not ascend to God like a cry from the heart: “The hour has come, give us a sign!”
Elsewhere in the world, thousands of migrants and displaced persons live in refugee camps; revolutions occur as people try to overthrow unjust, often violent systems. The inhumane traffic in women and children procures indecent profits for some. In Europe, and in all countries, poverty is an ever-increasing problem. While the rich inflate their assets and are recompensed, the less fortunate sink further into poverty and are deprived of even their basic rights. All of creation groans under the weight of misery. Does the Advent theme not rise to God like a cry from the heart: “The hour has come, give us a sign!”
As in Jesus’ time, our society needs a sign of his coming but this sign must come through each one of us. It is manifested in daily activities: in our way of living love, compassion, mutual support, concern, commitment to each other. Thus we proclaim the coming of the Kingdom in the now of our history. These multiple actions will open the eyes of our hearts and our world to the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. Therefore, we will be able to recognize more and more, here and now, the signs of the incarnation, for “the hour has come!”
May each of us have a beautiful Advent season! Let us commit ourselves to bringing about the Kingdom of God today!