Monday, December 15, 2014

A Thought for Monday 15 December 2014

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they will rejoice in their portion.  Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.”  Isaiah 61:7 NKJV

Not only was this the Promise to Israel in the midst of their exile, it is also the Promise to the people of the Holy Church who will endure this life with faith, with gratitude, and with a sense of holy purpose.  As Israel was being reminded of their “chosen” status as a “priestly nation”, so must the Holy Church reconnect to her source of Life so that our purpose may be found, embraced, and lived.

There is no better time to do so than during the season of Advent.  Just as the shepherds came to see upon the news of the birth of Messiah – and then went to tell – so must the Church rediscover the real joy of this blessed season; the privilege to “see”, and then the joy to “tell”.  Sadly, however, this is the time of year when we go a little overboard in telling our children about Santa Claus, more so than we tell them about the Messiah; and there are few among us who are not guilty to some degree.  We need only to look at the trouble many go to so their children can sit on Santa’s knee, but will not go to that much trouble to bring their children to Christ through the Church.

It is not enough to tell our children that Jesus was born; we must teach them how this wondrous story came about … and why.  Santa will not bring our children closer to Jesus, so we should probably stop trying to make Santa fit into the story.  It’s been fun, I will admit, but it may be that the generations of the past who were raised on a benevolent Santa who fulfills all wishes are those generations that have walked away from the Church, having connected the Santa “myth” with a Christ “myth”.  Talk about “confusion”!!  We have created a generation (or two) of agnostics!!!

Let us help our neighbors and our children get past the confusion of this life and the conflicting messages.  Let us tell them the Truth, the full Truth, the only Truth – because as it is so often said, if we do not teach our children how and why to follow The Lord, the world will fill their heads with “visions of sugar plums” and teach them not to.

Looking at the world we have created for ourselves, maybe it is time for us to grow up ourselves and stop the fantasies.  Israel was trying to have its cake and eat it, too; and this “confusion” led to their downfall as subsequent generations were not told The real Story.  Yet those who sought the Truth and worked to reconnect to that Truth were given this Promise of “everlasting joy” rather than seasonal bliss about a magical elf who brings the desires of the heart to good little children – but clearly ignores others with greater needs than a new Xbox.

Hold fast to what is good and true and right.  We are not “Santa people”; we are the Church, the Body of Christ.  There is no confusion in that.



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