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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Are Transformed by Jesus' Birth

God acts in ways that seem strange, but we believe he is provident.  It is often hard to discern God’s actions in our personal lives, especially in times of sickness and economic hardship, and harder yet to see how God acts in the course of human history, especially in the midst of war and injustice.  The Second Vatican Council attempted to “read the signs of the times” and challenged all believers to do so.

The Christmas season brings this challenge directly to us.  The Gospel according to St. Luke situates Jesus’ birth in the course of human history, yet the birth transformed the personal lives of Mary and Joseph and others who encountered the newborn Christ child.  Here is God acting, a work of pure grace; yet here is humanity transformed, God limiting himself to acting in human ways.

When God acts in human ways, we’re challenged to detect his purpose in events.  The constant temptation is to think and judge as if we were the only actors—in our lives and in human history.  The response of faith is to surrender our lives and times to a loving God and trust in his providence.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI


 
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