December 27, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family

We move so quickly from the manger to your life and mission, and all that the Incarnation means for us. Today we look at Jesus’ becoming one of our flesh through the optic of the Holy Family in the day-to-day meaning of life together. What do you have to teach us about what being fully human, fully divine (to quote Michael Casey) looks like, Jesus, in the ordinary, obscure and laborious days which make up all our lives and how we interact with one another?

I would like to quote a passage from Richard Rohr in which, to me at least, it speaks to this. Rohr is speaking of Symeon the New Theologian and one of Symeon’s writings.

“Symeon’s Hymn 15 from his collected Hymns of Divine Love beautifully names the divine union that God is forever inviting us toward. These mystical lines honestly say it all for me and move me to embodied knowing to a living force field wherein we will know mystical union on even the cellular level.

We awaken in Christ’s body
As Christ awakens our bodies,
And my poor hand is Christ, He enters
My foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
Whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? – Then
Open your heart to Him
And let yourself receive the one who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ’s body
where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utter, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
we awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

Jesus, you are one with us on every level. You are the Christ, filling the universe with your Presence. Help us to look deeply into each person, all things, and with the eyes of loving faith, unite your Presence with me with your Presence in the other. Open our hearts to be for one another and the world, one with you in the offering of our substance in love and service. Did not Mary and Joseph live with you in just that way? Show us what it means to live from that depth of union which your love has made us to be.