Imagine if Jesus were born anew in this world today. Imagine God being a baby in our midst. Imagine the Word Made Flesh here and now. Imagine the greatest light of human history shining in the darkness of our times.
Our world today has many similarities to the time when Jesus was born. Oppression. Fear. Spiritual darkness.
The Roman Empire dominated the politics of the time. Lies and propaganda were widespread. Innocent people were tortured and killed. People everywhere worshiped idols and ignored the living God.
Are we really so different? The unborn are murdered systematically. Hollywood and the Internet hold people under an idolatrous spell of propaganda and illusion. Injustice seems to flourish everywhere we look.
The simple truth is we desperately need Jesus in our world today. We are a lost and broken people. Even the Church seems to be stumbling in a never-ending procession of scandals.
It is easy to forget that hope was born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. It is easy to forget that same hope is born in our world every time you and I answer the call to love. Yes, Jesus is born in our world each time we answer the call to shine his blessed light.
I know a lady who went to Haiti on a group mission trip. She saw little children without parents, without a home and without the basic necessities of life. She spoke to the people leading her mission trip about helping these totally impoverished kids.
They said something to the effect, "Helping those particular children is not our ministry."
She knew in her heart that if she did not do something, those children would likely die. She decided to take action. She began to gather up the homeless children and started a home for them.
God took over and now those children and many others have a home, food and people who love and care for them. Her life and the lives of countless children and volunteers are changed forever.
The word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory.'
Why? Because one heroic woman let Jesus be born in this world through her life. Isn't this what Christmas is really all about?
Our call as Christians is to be the Christ-bearers in our world. It is to allow Jesus the Word Made Flesh to take flesh in our lives, our families, our communities and our world.
This is no time to back off or give up. This is the moment for authentic Christianity to shine. This is the moment to light the candle of faith wherever we are. This is the moment for us to live our faith and take risks.
The Church will be reborn when we build community with the lost, forsaken and lonely. The Church will be reborn when we fulfill Pope Benedict's prophetic vision and form small faith communities all over the world.
Imagine the Word Made Flesh lighting the way in you, me and all who profess Jesus as Lord. This is God's plan for our time.
We need to take courage and be what God created us to be.
If one women can go to Haiti and start a home for homeless children, what about us? I am not just talking about contributing money to programs, plans and institutions. For many of us that is important, but perhaps it is sometimes used to evade the fullness of our call.
We really need to ask Jesus: "Lord, how do you want to be born in this world through our lives?"
Blessed John Paul II once said, "We are all called to be missionaries." We need to let that idea soak into the heart of the Church.
Our fundamental vocation is to be a missionary people. Imagine if we all took this call to heart. Imagine if we all used our time, talent and treasure to birth Jesus through our lives. Imagine if we took a risk and stepped out of our comfort zones.
Brothers and sisters it is Christmas 2011. Jesus wants to be born through you and me today.
Come Lord Jesus! Be born in all of us. Let the flame of your love be lit in every heart. Give us the courage to say a big "yes" to the Gospel without compromise. Amen.
(firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me about Diddi Washington's : Mission Haiti Helping Kids mentioned in this article.)