In the Silence of the Night
A brief Christmas meditation
by Patrick Miron
About 700 years before the birth of Jesus; the Prophet Isaiah foretold of a silent night; a holy night that would forever change the relationship of God and man. It was one hell of a night; for man would forevermore be judged under grace; and no longer, “only” under the law. Because man was given more; more was to be expected of him. The future heavens one gate loomed large; and hell’s many gates loomed even larger. Humanities ability to truly know God would be severely challenged by man’s capacity and tendency to have, and to make gods unto and for themselves.
Humanities salvation would be at risk by our personal-life’s choices. Truly knowing Jesus; the Messiah would be at one and the same time; now be made easier [under grace] and simultaneously made far more difficult [severely tested by pride]. Which explains to a degree why God came to us as a tiny baby. We need to be able to love God in order to trust in our God. What’s easier to love than a tiny baby?
Satan is a taker; while Christ is a giver. Different in both goals and tactics; these two forces; one for good; the other for evil, make urgent the battle for Souls which ranges on. The quietness of the night, the holy night, which was for a time, peaceful and Peace-Filled, [John 14:27], can only remain as such by our obedience to all of God Commands, mandates and precepts. Our God came to earth as an infant child; dependent on his created so as not to intimidate us. The Creator of everything good, trusted fully his self-imaged -creation [Genesis 1:26-27]; reliant on them for his life and his love; and silently asking each of us: “do YOU love me?” … God’s desire to be loved by us is only exceeded by his love for us.
Isaiah 9: 2- 7 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy;
they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Midian. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this”
Isaiah 11:1–5 “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. [All of which are parts of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit] And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.”
Micah 5: 2; 4 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. … And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
What my friend are we waiting for? What are OUR expectations of the Messiah? Do we acknowledge that we too might miss Him, as did many Jews of the time? Expecting “a king” but NOT “thee King.” Have we permitted the commercialization of Christmas; the “Christ-Mas[s]” season to alter our perspectives? Have we made room in the quietness our heart where Jesus can find a place of rest? A caring place of love. It’s never too late to invite the Holy Family in. To give them the room, that “the Inn” denied them, and the time, the place, the space and the Love our God deserves.
Christmas is not so much a day, a time; a place; as it is the condition of our minds and our hearts. Is there room for God in our lives? Are we insistent on making that room for Christ available? What kind of priority do we assign this task?
Luke 1:26;35” In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, … And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. “
If my friends, we have ever pondered what “faith” means; there could be no better example than Jesus, Mary & Joseph modeling it for us. A young teenage girl saying yes, and always saying yes to our God; and a man, her husband reliant and trusting on God’s Angel; who told him to defy Jewish Tradition, and marry a pregnant girl, [made so by God Himself]. And then GOD becoming a mortal man! What an incredible Faith they had. What Faith and humility God has in trusting us. And that Faith my friends is not to be overlooked; it is one of the many gifts wrought by the infant-Jesus, we too are to have great Faith, Hope and Love.
Luke 2: 4-17 “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning.”
Already the Good Shephard
Isn’t it interesting that it was poor shepherds tending there sheep; who would first be given the opportunity to meet, to know, to love and to adore the Good Shephard? Why do you think this was God’s choice? And have you ever considered just why Jesus choose to be born in the darkness of night? It is because Jesus is thee light of the world. Light is nearly impossible to ignore, surrounded by darkness [sin]; so in choosing to be born in darkness; Jesus is telling us graphically; that he came to counterbalance; to be the antidote for man’s sins. What an amazing and loving God we have!
Have a Blessed, a holy, a happy, and a peaceful-peace-filled Christmas. My Christmas Mass will be offered up for my family & yours
Your is Christ through Mary,