This is my original entry for the WINE blog site. There were a couple of errors in their post and they edited out a few things which they are certainly entitled to do!
So I thought I would share my original version with you.
The Gift of Jesus
I love the story of Baby Jesus being brought to the Temple. The two people who have spent their lives awaiting the promises of God are finally rewarded on this glorious day! When Mary and Joseph bring the baby in to the Temple, Simeon and Anna just know He’s the One they’ve been waiting for. What a moment of absolute Grace.
And, as I was reminded recently in one of Bishop Robert Barron’s Daily Gospel Reflection, Jesus will be back in this Temple near the very end of His life. He will come in to bring the Ultimate Sacrifice to the Lord. He will let the world know that His Body is the True Temple. It’s coming to a climax soon.
But the war between good and evil is no contest, people. Good is made up of love and beauty. Anything Good is of God. And God is stronger than anything or anyone. Like I said, it’s no contest. Those who would tell us about the ‘struggle between good and evil’ are sadly deluded if they think that it’s a fight where we should be on the edge of our seats awaiting the outcome.
Don’t think “Star Wars”
This is not a movie. This is life which only God can give and only God can sanctify. Which He did in becoming a man, a human like you and like me.
God is love and love is stronger than death, too, by the way. In every way conceivable, good is stronger than evil. We know ‘the rest of the story’ as believers. So, don’t be afraid.
And, if seeing Jesus in His suffering and death makes you sad, that’s understandable. For we helped put Him there, in our own sin and lack of faith. But don’t think for a second that it means God is defeated. For that Sacrifice becomes our greatest Triumph!
He takes our sin upon Himself and dies for us. We could not save ourselves. So, while we may be sad and feel regret for what Jesus must endure for us all, our overriding emotion should be gratitude that God loves us that much. Jesus redeems us.
Let’s talk about humility
Jesus’ humility is breathtaking. The King of the Universe, Creator of all, does not deserve any of the things He endures from birth to death. But He takes them all on for you and for me.
We should be humbled. Every day of our life, we should realize we are and never could be worthy of the Sacrifice. But God loves us anyway. And He loves us that much.
Thank God, Jesus is worthy enough for all of us. He is the reason to be grateful for our existence, but more for His, and to be joyful that He made us worthy, and kind and loving and forgiving to one another because Jesus is all those things with us.
Remember, the Incarnation leads to the Crucifixion. But don’t ever stop there. For that death leads to the Resurrection. And the first Christians, the eye witnesses, went to their deaths for Jesus. Because they had seen the Risen Lord and would never be the same.
If you saw the Jesus who suffered and died back amongst His friends who’d been so unfaithful when He was arrested, yet He forgives and loves them, and tells them why He had to suffer and die and now why He must ascend but never leave them or anyone who comes after them (you and me), I hope you would also want to share that amazing story with everyone you meet.
Even those who might not want to hear about Him, even with those who might want to kill you. Because you’d know with every fiber of your being that Jesus, true God and true Man, had died for you. How could you do any less now? How could any of us? Now that you know the truth.
The gift of Jesus that arrives in a tiny baby and is presented in the Temple, becomes the Temple and saves humanity. Let us be grateful, let us rejoice, always.