As we come to the end of a year, we can look back on 2017 with joy for the graces received and with satisfaction. We might also experience regret and pain for incompleteness, for sufferings caused, for opportunities missed, writes CRA President Sister Ruth Durick osu.
In this season of Advent, we are called to patient waiting, a time of expectation, a time of hope. It is not just the incarnation of God into our history more than 2000 years ago, in the person of Jesus, that we celebrate. It is the ongoing incarnation which we experience in our daily lives, in our communities and relationships, in our world and in the cosmos that we anticipate, celebrate and embrace.
Often the celebration of Christmas is viewed as a meek and mild one of a child born, a passive mother, a dutiful stepfather. In fact, the Christmas story is more relevant for our time now than it has ever been. The child born in a stable, placed in a manger – the royal one born in poverty. The family unable to find a comfortable dwelling for the birth. Who are those who come as the first visitors – the lowliest in the society, the shepherds. The Wise ones from the East, not from the local area, were also attuned to this incarnation event. Often, we think of Christmas as a time of waiting for God’s intervention. John Dominic Crossan speaks of God ‘waiting for our collaboration’.
As people of hope, we can be incarnational people. We can continue to be advocates for the poorest in our society, for those who are sent to the margins, for our first peoples, for those whom our country will not welcome, for our planet which is thirsting for a new heaven and a new earth. We are called, like Mary, to empower incarnation, not passively receive it. We are called to inclusion, not exclusion. We are called to bring the asylum seekers into homes where their humanity can be restored. We are called to nurture our planet as the true source of all our life.
“The whole of creation is groaning in one great act of giving birth, and not only creation….” (Romans: 8).