December 24, 2011
Christmas - Mass During the Night
God Is Here!
Except for Mark, each of the other three Gospel writers has a unique way of teaching the core revealed belief of Christianity of a God who comes to live among us. (Mark begins his Gospel with John the Baptist's preaching and Jesus' public ministry)
In the words of the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Matthew, deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, provided the name "Emmanuel" and its meaning "God is with us" (Matthew 1:23). In Jesus, God fulfills the promise given through the words of Isaiah to a people under attack by foreign invaders (Isaiah 7:14).
John wrote, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." The expression "making his dwelling" can be literally translated "pitching is tent." The experience of having God who dwells in a tent among God's chosen people also recalls Jewish history of the days in the desert. There, God lived with the people.  Now, the Son, who is God, comes to live among us.
Luke identified the time and place of Jesus' birth. It was in Bethlehem of Judea, during the reign of Caesar Augustus, with Quirinius governor of Syria when Mary "gave birth to her firstborn son."
Indeed, our God has chosen to come and live among us. God is with us in our human conditions, with our concrete circumstances. In Jesus Christ, God is here with us.
 New American Bible, Revised Edition,