Benedictine University and’s Mark Kurowski reflects on the mercy and love that God coming as Jesus means to us in possibly his best reflection yet.  It is selflessness.  Listen to this podcast of his reflection for Christmas Day. Please read John 1:1-18.


{mp3}2011 12 25 B 06 01 Christmas{/mp3}

For Benedictine University and, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 12/25/2011The 1st Sunday of Christmas.
Please pause this audio and read John 1.1-18.
John Donne, the English Poet, born Roman Catholic, wrote the following for Christmas Day 1624:
If some king of the earth
Have so Large an extent of dominion
In north and south, as that he hath winter and summer
Together in his dominions;

So large an extent as east and west,
As that he hath day and night
Together in his dominions;
Much more hath God mercy and judgment together.

He brought light out of darkness,
Not out of a lesser light;
He can bring thy summer out of winter,
Though thou have no spring.

Though in the ways of fortune, or understanding or conscience,
Thou have been benighted till now, wintered and frozen,
Clouded and eclipsed, dampened and benumbed,
Smothered and stupefied till now.
Now God comes to thee, not as the dawning of the day,
Not as the bud of the spring,
But as the sun at noon to illustrate all shadows,
As the sheaves in harvest to fill all hunger.

All occasions invite His mercies,
And all times are His seasons.

How many of us have someone in their life that is just nasty to them?  How many of us have had lousy service from an annoyed customer service representative in the last few months?  How many of us have had a family member make them angry lately?  How many of us would rather spit in their face than look at those people?
Come on! How easy is it for US to love those who DON’T love us, right?  No, it is very hard.  It is especially hard when those people, maybe even people YOU love, reject you and your existence.
Amidst all the gluttony and bad arrangements of Christmas music at the shopping Malls and centers, and the whole idea of Santa Claus, it is hard for us to really understand the truest meaning of Christmas.  We may not remember that on this day, God chose to show all people, even people who rejected him, that he loved us.  It is on this day that the pre-existent Son of God became human in the child Jesus.  That child was born for the sole purpose of dying for our sins.
The Christ-child had a death sentence of love on his head before he cooed his first coo or smiled his first loving smile at his loving mother.  He was destined to die even before he took his first steps or said his first word.  Why?  He was destined to die so that people who could care less about God and Jesus Christ would be able to have eternal life if they just turn and trust that Jesus is the way of salvation.
All the while, here is God doing what we cannot do.  He is coming in human form to die for people who are awful to him.  They reject him. They supplant him on this Day with a fat elf in a red suit.  They forget the sacrifice as they celebrate the meekness and lowliness of the child.  All the while, God, who created us, submits himself to the hands of his creation.  He allows his creation to reject him while he still loves us.
Christmas is not about the gifts we give each other.  It is about the gift of self-sacrificing love that God gave to us in the child who was born to die for our sins.  It is not a “holiday.”  It is a “holy day.”  It is a day to think deep about the meaning of life, the meaning of living, the meaning of self.
Is our life about staying put and being comfortable?  Or is life about doing what God did, reaching out to us in a form that others not like Him could understand?  Is living about holding grudges and an eye for an eye?  Or, is living about loving even those who reject us, hate us and give us the worst time? Is the meaning of being wrapped in glitz, glamour, and glory? Or, is the meaning of being wrapped in humble cloths, lying with the poor in a filthy place and laying down what power we have so that we can live for others?
In the midst of our making merry today, on this Merry Christmas, may we also stop, wonder as we wonder about the selflessness of the one who had the power to make a big show of it all.
If some king of the earth
Have so Large an extent of dominion
So large an extent as east and west,
As that he hath day and night
Together in his dominions; (Pause)
Much more hath God mercy and judgment together.

May you have a blessed and deep Christmas.  Amen?  Amen.

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