Merry Christmas – God Is With Us

God chose us. The amazing grace of the Incarnation is that God pushed himself into the family of man even though we are broken, flawed and sinful.

“and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” – from the prologue of John’s Gospel

If the Word truly dwelt among us, then he was part of a family that, like most, was fairly dysfunctional, a mix of the good and bad, the saintly and the sinful, the glorious and the not so glorious. And this is such good news for us. -Father Barron

“The words of Thomas Jefferson defined our nation; the words of Abraham Lincoln strengthened its resolve at a time of unprecedented crisis; the words of Martin Luther King effected a moral revolution; the words of Winston Churchill turned back an evil empire. Words–even puny human words–pack enormous power. Imagine the power of God’s Word, made flesh in Jesus Christ. It unleashed a force that, 2000 years later, continues to change the world. Christmas is the day when we celebrate that power.” – Father Barron

We are made for God, we are meant for Him, to respond to Him.

the glory of God is…

The most oft-cited quote from Saint Irenaeus is from the fourth book of the Adversus Haereses and it runs as follows:

Saint Irenaeus.jpg

“the glory of God is a human being fully alive.” – St. Irenaeus

An engraving of St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyons, France)
Bishop and Martyr
Born AD 130
Smyrna in Asia Minor (modern-day ?zmir, Turkey)
Died AD 202 (aged 72)
Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyons, France)

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The Only Real Way To Respond To Evil And Sin

Resisting Sin through Christian love has many behaviors. One of them is nonviolence.  Jesus dying on the cross is the best example of this kind of provocative non-violence.

“The cross is the eternal expression of the length to which God will go in order to restore broken community.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (from Stride For Freedom by Martin Luther King Jr.)

Trials and tribulations come with both a purpose and a reward

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. . . . Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:2-4,12).