EMMANUEL

Monthly letters to help put the work of the catechist of the Good Shepherd into the context of the larger world · from the archives

by Catherine Maresca

Christmas 2015

“A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”  Luke 6, 38                                         
 While we may imagine God the “King” holding and controlling all the life, power and gifts of the universe, and letting them dribble bit by bit to the “worthy”, Luke’s description of the giving nature of God is a better match for the incarnation and the Kindom of God described in the Gospels.

God’s life is embedded in creation and available to all of us.
God’s life is embedded in Jesus, and available to all of us.
God’s life is embedded in every seed (mustard seeds, wheat, lilies, vines) and available to all of us.
God’s life is embedded by the Holy Spirit through breath, wind, and fire and available to all of us.

God is not holding back. One of the names of Jesus, “Emmanuel” captures this perfectly. Emmanuel means “God with us,” and indeed God is with us, embedded in every atom and star, every plant and animal, every child and adult.  Through lives of constant prayer Simeon and Anna were able to recognize God in the baby brought to the temple by Mary and Joseph. Our own prayer will open our eyes and hearts to the presence of God among us, “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”

Those of us who are parents, grandparents, and catechists also have the gift of children to help us open our eyes to the abundance and hope of the presence of God at work among us. Yesterday at the prayer table with 15 children ages 6-11 we read the prophecy of the light. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9,1)” I asked, “What does this prophecy tell us about hope and peace?” (mentioned while singing as we lit the Advent wreath.) “Light gives us hope.” “Darkness is like bad things and light comes to give us hope.” “Light sends the darkness away.” “Darkness is like war and bad things, the light will bring peace.” These are just a few of the sentences captured as the children responded with confidence and faith to the question.

The Center seeks to capture these words of hope and share them with the church. Help us by offering responses from the children you pray with here. We add these to our database to use in our blog, study, and research. Share the hope and love abundant in the world as seen through the hearts of its children.

May Emmanuel touch you through many gestures of love in this Christmas season.

Catherine

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