Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Sharing

Those who recite the Liturgy of the Hours are very familiar with Ps. 95, as it is chanted each day at the beginning of Matins.  On Christmas, we sing it in Latin, just before the celebration of our Midnight Mass.  It felt especially appropriate, sung with the angels on the Holy Night.  Here is part of the psalm (English translation):

“Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us!
 Let us approach Him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord. 
The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great King over all the gods. 
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth 
and the highest mountains as well,
He made the sea, it belongs to Him,
the dry land too, for it was formed by His hands. 
Come then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord our Maker. 
For He is our God and we are His people the flock He shepherds. 
Today, listen to the voice of the Lord…
At this point in the psalm, while I continued to chant, my brain inserted a question:  What was the voice of the Lord on this Christmas night?  Answer:  an infant’s cry!  So, this has been my meditation during the Christmas Octave, culminating on this feast of the Motherhood of Mary.
The God whom we contemplate as “mighty”, is a weak baby crying for milk.
The “great King over all the gods” is least among men, an infant warmed in the arms of His mother.
He who “holds in His hands” all the world, reaches for His mother’s breast
The Infinite has become small.
The Boundless is wrapped in swathing bands.
The Eternal is born in time.

We who grasp at divinity in all the wrong ways, by being powerful, and independent, would do well to see what divinity  really is.  God is love.  And love is that which pours itself out in sacrifice for the sake of a beloved other.  “If God has loved us so, then we must have the same love for one another”.  Blessed New Year!  May it truly be a “year of the Lord” and a year under the protecting mantle of His Blessed Mother.