December 23

Reflection

 

             O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people,
come set us free, Lord our God.

Emmanuel means God is with us. It reminds us that through Jesus we are shown what the gift of that presence means. It is the vision of a society freed from physical concerns and spiritual confusion. It is the concept of a world in which we recognize that we are all one in the Source of Life “in whom we live and move and have our being.”  It is good news for the poor, sight to the blind, liberty for captives and a time for recognizing God’s favo.r It is a call to change, to be transformed and to live in freedom and peace.

Prayer

O Come. O Come, Emmanuel! 

 Action

What would set you free? What would set us all free?  How can you work toward this?

Suggested Reading

The Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us. ‘”
Matthew 1:21-23.

 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.
Pope Francis

 True joy is hidden where we are the same as other people: fragile and mortal. It is the joy of belonging to the human race. It is the joy of being with others as a friend, a companion, a fellow traveler. This is the joy of Jesus, who is “Emmanuel: God-with-us.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

Christmas has a deeper significance to followers of Jesus. It’s not all about the gifts underneath Christmas trees or the elaborate meals served in extravagantly decorated homes. Christmas is the season of Immanuel. We celebrate the good news that He is near, that He cares for us, and that He transforms lives. His presence was the greatest present God gave mankind. May we be present carriers of that presence!
Katherine J. Walden

 By the light of nature we see God as a God above us, by the light of the law we see Him as a God against us, but by the light of the gospel we see Him as Emmanuel, God with us.
Matthew Henry

 If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: ‘God with us.’
John F. MacArthur

 The miracle is not to walk on water, but to walk with love on earth,
as if your feet are kissing the ground.
We must remember that our presence alone is a miracle.
We must learn to say ‘Yes’ to the miracles of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh

 Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.
Henri Nouwen

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
Viktor Frankl 

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