Saturday, December 23, 2006

And the Word Became... an Embryo

We heard it a million times when we were young: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As I was growing up, I wanted to become (correct me if I'm wrong, mom) a fireman, then a jet pilot, a cartoonist, and a Jedi knight. I still want to be a Jedi knight. Mostly, I wanted to have that freedom to do whatever I wanted; to roam the world, to explore, to create, taste and see, experience life in all it's richness, and to see what pattern I could weave as the spool of my years unraveled into the fabric of human history.

But growing in faith, taking this spiritual life (which in essence is the whole life) seriously, I'm discovering that the question is actually backwards. What will I become when I get bigger, older, wiser? St. John the Baptist said it so well in his mantra that should become the soundtrack of our modern lives; "He must increase, I must decrease." Because to such as these "little ones" is given the Kingdom of Heaven. Our Lord Himself said that unless we become as little children, we can't get in! The door to Heaven is "hobbit-sized"!

I believe growing up, in a spiritual sense, means recognizing the fact that we should really be growing smaller. As we mature and become more "independent," we should also advance in our becoming more "dependent" on our Heavenly Father.

This is what happened, in the fullness of time, when God Who is the Fullness of All that Is became the littlest thing in all of creation. When the Word became.... an embryo. When God became utterly and totally dependent on a little Jewish girl's daily diet. When the Maker of the Heavens drew His nutrients from the life-blood of the little virgin Mary. Let 's ponder this one anew, this monumental event in human history, in all of history. Let's build a window on the womb of Mary and peer inside, watching breathlessly as the Word takes on our flesh. As the Body of Jesus is knit together in His Mother's womb. Venite adoremus!

With all of the bigness, the glamour and the greatness of Christmas, let's remember how it all began. In silence, in stillness, and in the dark warmth of a woman's womb. Moving softly, quietly, just beneath the beating heart of Mary, and under the trembling, calloused hand of the carpenter, Joseph, as he touched that first tabernacle in human history and felt the Word stirring, making his first movement and remaking the world.
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