Dec 18, 2018: Emmanuel – God with Us Here and Now

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Tuesday, Third Week of Advent

First Reading: Jer. 23:5-8; Ps. 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Mt. 1:18-25.

Our God is not a legend of old. He is a not a myth of yesteryears. He is neither a supernatural being recalled in folklore, nor is he a figment of imagination kept alive in fables and oral traditions. To the Jews, the Exodus event is the core of their belief system …the crux of their Torah. They were lost in the past and were infatuated with the Exodus event of yore. They were indifferent to the Yahweh of the Here and Now …the God of the present was irrelevant to them. They renegaded Yahweh to something to be commemorated only on feasts and jubilees. In their everyday lives, Yahweh was only an option to fall back when everything else fails. Otherwise, their aspirations and goals were of the world and not of the world to come. They forgot that Yahweh was ‘I AM WHO AM’ and not I WAS WHO WAS.

While I try my best to be objective in my observations, I must concede that my language has progressively picked up a censuring tone. If I were to be true to my conscience, at least for a moment, I would have found myself guilty on all the charges raised against my Jewish brethren. I too have identified my Lord only to that historical Jesus who lived and died in Palestine 2000 years ago. Rarely has it crossed my mind that Jesus is my Lord and God right here …right now. The notion of Jesus as ‘Emmanuel’ – God is with us – is confined only during Christmas season.

May we become aware of this reality more and more, that he is with us every moment of our existence, not only in the present but also in the future. Our Christmas this year would be more meaningful if we comprehend this reality that our OmniPRESENT God is Jesus with us right here …right now.

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