as man with us to dwell; Jesus, our Emmanuel!"
is about God and about humanity because in Jesus both God and humanity have
"embraced"--forever! God has Loved us to the point of becoming one of us.
His is a Love that is irresistibly empathetic--drawn to the heart of hurting,
sinful humanity: "For today I MUST stay at your house" (Luke. 19:5B). He has
freely chosen to fully participate in our human condition--embracing our human
nature with an overwhelming Love in a heart passionately alive in the world
(see God Day By Day. Vol. IV, pp;131, 70).
Jesus has entered personally into the drama of
human life: Joy, prayer, hunger and thirst, laughter and tears, sorrow, pain
and death--with a human heart filled with tender, Eternal Love: "Love's Pure
Light". He has come not just to live close to our human bodies, but rather to
live close to our hearts as one of us. Jesus is the L.A.M.B. (Love
And Mercy Begotten): He reveals the Father's "personality"
as Love and Mercy, tenderness and friendship. He makes the Love and Mercy of
the Father visible and proximate in the world: "The Lord is compassion and
love" (Ps. 103:8). Jesus is the plea from the Father's "Heart": Let me Love
you! Let me draw near to your heart! Christmas calls intercessors to always
live close both to the heart of God and to the heart of humanity--and to love
both passionately. This is the interiority that we are called to pray from.
Incarnation, God has associated himself with every human being: "In his
incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man" (CCC
618). Intercessorsare called to
identify with humanity with an "intensity of love". Because of Christmas our
love must be fully "incarnate"--flesh and blood--for all: "I proclaim to you
good news of great joy that will be for ALL the people" (Luke. 2:10): No one is
meant to be a "stranger in the manger" of my heart; "The grace of God has
appeared, saving ALL" (Titus 2:11):
other times they are enkindled by the Spirit with such love and exultation
that, were it possible, they would clasp in their embrace ALL mankind,
without discrimination, good and bad alike" ("From a homily by a spiritual
writer of the fourth century". LH. Vol. III, p. 162).
about the birth of the "new humanity" of Jesus Christ in the world. Jesus has
come to us in the "mature" humanity of one who knows only one thing: Love. His
life models for us what a truly whole and holy human nature looks like.
Intercessors desire to be healed and purified--"transformed into the same image
from glory to glory" (2Cor. 3:18)--into
his new, mature humanity: "Cast out our sin and enter in; Be born in us
today." (from verse #4 of the song, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"). May we
and those whom we plead for experience "a new and glorious morn" rising in our
hearts this Christmas.
the Holy Spirit placed a particular burden on my heart to pray for at this
2) What is being
healed and/or purified in my life at this time?
Any scripture cited in
the text; Is. 62:1-5; Lk. 2:10-11 ; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7