God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
— James 4:6
He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
and he will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
for their lives are precious to him.
— Psalm 72:12-14
This is God at work, as God has been at work across the millennia, as God is at work even now – unfolding new narratives with, through, and among particular people who are others, outsiders to the assumed faithful. The good news that God bears through Jesus is concurrently jarring news, infuriating news to the temple stalwarts who push him, rush him out of the city to throw him headlong down the hillside (Luke 4:21-30). The good news is not the narrative they were used to, not what they expected from the living God, who had come once again to break through their calcified ways.
So it is with new narratives born of God. In the midst of the global complexities of this era, this century, the church faces the daunting possibility – indeed, the reality – that God is unfolding a new narrative through the particularities of “outsiders”, of edge-people who come to God and bear witness to God through God’s actions in edge-places, and occasionally in temple settings. Deserts. Drought-wracked lands. Famine. Struggling widows. Dying children. Disbelieving commanders. Servants. Isaiah. Elijah. Elisha. Jesus.
— David L. Ostendorf from Daily Feast
Bigger than Christianity
The “Christ Mystery” is much bigger than Christianity as an organized religion. If we don’t understand this, Christians will have little ability to make friends with, build bridges to, understand, or respect other religions or the planet. Jesus did not come to create a country club or a tribe of people who could say, “We’re in and you’re out. We’ve got the truth and you don’t.” Jesus came to reveal something that was true everywhere, for everyone, and all the time.
— Richard Rohr adapted from Christ, Cosmology, & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (MP3 download), The Cosmic Christ and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. He is mysteriously present in those for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst.
— Thomas Merton from Raids on the Unspeakable
Christmas Touches the Whole of Creation
Somehow I realized that songs, music, good feelings, beautiful liturgies, nice presents, big dinners, and many sweet words do not make Christmas. Christmas is saying “yes” to something beyond all emotions and feelings. Christmas is saying “yes” to a hope based on God’s initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel. Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God’s work and not mine. Things will never look just right or feel just right. If they did, someone would be lying … But it is into this broken world that a child is born who is called Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, Savior.
— Henri Nouwen from The Road to Daybreak
- Making Room
- Born In A Manger
- Love Is The Measure
- Jesus Was A Refugee
- I Just Want To Do Love Right
- LGBT Catholics: Owning Our Faith
- Like The Pharisee
- Not A Competition