Unfortunately, there are no men, nor are there any women, perfect enough to forgive without conditions. That is why a genuine Christmas experience (of Unconditional Love) depends solely on the Spirit of human perfection, found paradoxically in the poor, obscure, babe in the manger.
For no one can be expected to understand what Christmas really means without receiving Unconditional Love.
But what is Unconditional Love? And, where can we find this Christmas babe?
"The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of the man whose eye is true, The utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows...I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel." Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
There are people all around us, even if we don't notice them, who are hurting deeply, wishing only for forgiveness, acceptance, and guidance. I know, for I have been one of them during certain stretches of my life. These lost, and lonely, people need not our preaching, nor do they desire our condescending teaching. What they truly desire is to see, to taste, to touch, and to feel the Jesus everyone talks about…right now!
But the problem is that all too many Catholics, and non-Catholic Christians--those who claim to know Jesus--fail to introduce Jesus to the spiritually hungry, only introducing them to a self-absorbed impostor, an impostor more interested in imposing their own will than sharing the blessing of the Will of the Merciful God.
I know, for I have been one of those impostors too!
What the world starves for, right now, is less of us, and more of Jesus.
"Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior." Psalm 25:4-9
So you want to evangelize the spiritually hungry? Well then, get out of the way! Do you want to share the genuine Jesus with the lost and lonely? Well then, share Him on His terms, through His Way! Jesus is not an abstract, ivory tower, Ph.D., philosophical-theological argument to be pulled from the cobwebs of our book shelf, for private amusement.
No! He is the God of the Incarnation (Christmas), and, therefore, history; and His-story is not of a book, but the Book, not of a church, but of the Church, and not of a way, but of His Cross-born Way! So, if you want to introduce the real Jesus to a spiritually hungry soul, don't bring them to a cafeteria; rather, take them to the banquet of the fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church. Let them read, and believe, Sacred Scripture from the only font with full Interpretive Authority--for, after all, the New Testament came from the Holy Spirit, from within the bosom of Holy Mother Church.
To be steeped in history (Incarnation/Christmas) is to be steeped in Jesus, from within His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Moreover, within Holy Mother Church, the spiritually starving can be forgiven (without doubt) from sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He, or she, therefore, can receive the Real Presence of Jesus, in His Body and Blood, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. He, or she, can meet, and befriend, true saints--those of us who have overcome our inadequacies, our hypocrisies, and our sinful nature, through the only Christmas gift worth keeping--our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, 'By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?'" Matthew 21:23-27
Christmas can be shared with the lonely IF we give the gift of the genuine Jesus, not only in the Christmas babe, but in the Jesus of the gospel--particularly the Beatitudes--the Jesus of the Last Supper, the Jesus of Gethsemane, and the Jesus of the Cross. But wouldn't this be cruel to introduce them to His suffering when they already suffer?
But wouldn't it be cruel to withhold the scalpel when cancer could be excised? Wouldn't it be cruel to withdraw meaning, dignity, and purpose to their suffering?
Wouldn't it be cruel to withhold the Loving Savior who suffers intimately with them?
Christmas, true Christmas, is meeting the Savior who suffers with us, for us, and guides us through it, not by running away from it, but by conquering it in Love which extinguishes it of its pointlessness, and brings from it elevated dignity, elevated courage, elevated compassion, and elevated forgiveness.
This is Christmas through the Cross, Resurrected in the new Life in the genuine Christ.
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