So we have arrived and the Son of God has arrived and now we can more easily intuit what that means. There are bells and songs, feelings (perhaps) of comfort and joy, but truly the depth of meaning is in the heart space of all those who desire to participate in the mystery of God in us, Christ appearing in flesh to be with us—as St Augustine said: “closer to us than we are to ourselves.” The dawning of the light is slow and incremental but has been growing through these past weeks, gathering strength. The fullness is now upon us. Perhaps for some the light appeared like the glow of a Christmas tree lighting or flicking on all the lights in the house at the same time. It seems to me that this year the process was more onerous, like turning on the lamps one by one. That is probably why I turn to the St. Louis Jesuits for their song, Emmanuel. It starts so quietly, seeing only a baby in a stall, but grows and grows until the name cannot remain inside but bursts from us in recognition of the miracle asking, Emmanuel, Emmanuel, what are we that you have loved us so well?
May you be bathed in the music and the mystery, knowing that you are well-loved.