“There is one among you whom you do not recognise.”
Is this not my big problem as a Christian? My refusal or inability to recognise Jesus of Nazareth.
Is this not my God’s biggest headache?
God has been revealing Himself; has been present among us, since the beginning of time, through the works of His hands – through creation.
God has been revealing himself; has been present among us, through his Word, in Scripture, for two to three thousand years.
God has revealed himself to us by being born, living and dying, just like us, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
God has told me that He lives in me and I live in Him, on many occasions.
God has told me that he is the vine and I am the branch.
God has told me that “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
God has told me that whatever I do for , or to, anyone of my fellow human beings, I do to God Himself
You could go on and on in this vein.
And yet my biggest problem as a Christian is recognising my God who is always in my presence, who lives in me, in whom I live and move and have my being.
But I keep putting my God at a distance, on a pedestal, up in the clouds. The present language used in the Mass and in other liturgical cerebrations does not help. Here we address our God in subservient, servile, and even grovelling language. We address our God using imperial and royal modes of address.
The God we treat in this way is the God who told us that when we address him we should begin ‘Abba” meaning ‘daddy.’
The God who told us ‘the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.’
The God who ‘when he had washed their feet …… said to them. Do you realise what I have done for you? You call me teacher and master, and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.’
So why do we treat our God as the majestic emperor living far off in unattainable light. That is exactly what God told us not to do, yet our liturgical language is full of it.
No wonder I keep my God at a distance. All my God wants is to hug me to his/her breast.
The Christmas lesson is ‘Immanuel’ meaning ‘God with us.’
That is why today is called ‘Gaudete Sunday.’ Gaudete means let us rejoice.
We rejoice today – and every day- because our God is always with us.