Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Community on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2016 by Beverly Bingle RCWP

Each of us is an expression of God in human form.
All the stardust floating out of that cosmic hatch—
out of that “big bang” 13.8 billion years ago—
all of it is in God and God in it.
And God is even more than that.
All that is expresses God-ness—including us.
A woman bears a child—wondrous miracle, gracious mystery—
and God is born in our world once more.
Tonight [today] we celebrate one of those special births,
the birth of our brother Jesus.
Luke shapes the story of Jesus’ birth—
we call it an “infancy narrative”—
to try to capture the essence of
the meaning of Jesus of Nazareth.
He pictures this young couple traveling miles from home,
so poor they aren’t able to find an inn to stay in,
birthing their child in a stable.
And the shepherds—the poor and marginalized—rejoice.
The birth of a child gives them hope for justice, hope for peace.
Luke has set the stage for what is to come:
that God is with us in the poor, the outcast, the downtrodden.
Just as God walked with Abraham and the people out of Ur,
just as God walked with Moses and the people of Israel
across the desert out of Egypt,
so God continues to walk with us,
keeps on revealing divinity in all creation.
Luke will go on
to tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection,
the story of God’s loving care for all,
the story of God’s special concern for the poor and oppressed.
The story is not over.
Each time we reach out to help someone;
each time we gather with family and friends,
each time we tend the poor and downtrodden among us,
we write another chapter of Matthew’s story of God-with-us.
Our world is beset by violence these days,
just as it was 2,000 years ago.
We mourn the bombings in Aleppo,
innocent people killed because they’re in the way of war.
We are wary of the signs of hate and violence
in so many statements of the incoming administration
that will take over our government on January 20.
We’re saddened to know that the “guns everywhere” bill
passed the Ohio General Assembly
and was signed by the Governor.
We’re shocked to hear about a semi truck killing a dozen people
as it crashed through a Christmas Market in Berlin.
But in the midst of the chaos and darkness, we have hope.
We are the ones who are sent to bring light to the darkness.
We are the ones responsible for speaking truth to power.
We are the ones, anointed by our Baptism,
called to spend our lives
bringing justice to the poor and peace to the world.
So we gather with family and friends and neighbors,
those folks who love us,
those folks whose love for us
reflects God’s love for all of creation.
They love us, in spite of our foibles and idiosyncrasies,
no matter what.
And we love them, no matter what.
Just like God loves us, no matter what.
So let us celebrate with great joy
that perfectly wonderful expression of Emmanuel,
of God-with-us—
the one who reveals God to us;
let us celebrate our brother Jesus.
He has been indeed born again in us.
Let us rejoice and be glad!

Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
(Washington Church)

Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006

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