Christmas Eve / Christmas Solemnity, a reflection by our Prioress Sister Marie Therese “MT” Summers, OSB

This eve of Christmas, we remember the historical nativity story from the past.

  • We can feel comfort in the memories we have as children growing up with this story.
  • We can feel sad for the difficulties of pregnancy and delivering a baby in a disconcerting setting.
  • We can empathize with Mary and Joseph so tired, so concerned for their babe to be born so far from home.

This eve is about the present moment as well.

  • We are invited to be the Christ present to the world today.
  • We are the channel to the refugees with gloves, scarves, and hats from a gracious donor.
  • We are aware and offer financial support to the agencies that are on the front lines with the socially outcast, the homeless.
  • We choose “Women’s Partnering” as a priority in our gifting outward. So, women have a place to rest their head?

This eve is timeless, it is about the incarnation of the Cosmic Christ that is alpha and omega.

  • We know from Proverbs 8 that Wisdom was present in the beginning before creation happened.  Always in existence!
  • In faith, we believe that same Wisdom will be with all creation to the end times.

Years ago, when the Big Bang Theory was being promoted by scientist, I simplified it in this way: God’s love could not be contained and hence God’s unconditional, uncontainable love burst forth in an array of loving energy, and continues to suffuse, saturate, pervade, permeate everything in all creation. God’s love is in all creatures, cultures, and civilizations.

As I searched further in my theological studies, I came to realize the Christ is not the same as Jesus. I was so pleased that Richard Rohr, crystallized this concept for me in a few short words: “Jesus has existed only for 2000 years. The Christ, the Creator of the universe, that one who set the pattern of all things, has existed, according to our present understanding of the universe for 14.6 billion years.”  Now there is wonderment, there is the full meaning of evolution, there is timeless mystery that unfolds forever. The Christ is among us.

We know well these words from the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God.  The Word became flesh and lived among us.”

In my studies at Gonzaga on Creation Spirituality, from Matthew Fox, I learned that the translation of the term “word” is not nearly as accurate as that of the Hebrew term: “Dabhar.”   Dabhar translates into “creative action, creative energy, creative love.”  I invite you to listen as I repeat this familiar passage with this different nuance:

“In the beginning was creative energy:

The creative energy was with God.

And the creative energy was God.

It was with God from the beginning.

Through it all things came to be.

The Creative energy was made flesh and lived among us.”

Personally, when I heard this, my soul leaped within me with a new dimension of understanding of incarnation. 

Creation itself is the timeless incarnation which we call Christ. Jesus is the personal incarnation born in a moment in time.

Perhaps the second coming of Christ is when, as the scientists predict will happen, the whole universe with stop expanding and in a quick moment everything will implode and return to the Source. Imagine returning to the Source – coming home to that uncontainable love of God.

We dare to believe in both Jesus and Christ. Another way to say it, we believe that the eternal blueprint of what God has been doing since the beginning of time is the same for a babe in a stable 2000 years ago and the same in each of us, being made in the image God, and through full adoption with Emmanuel, God with us.

In the Antiphons, leading up to this Eve, we have celebrated the many names and diverse nature of our God

Wisdom,

Adonai-Noble One,

Root of Jesse, a DNA shared through generations,

Key of Awareness,

Radiant Dawn,

King- Caregiver, protector, provider, shepherd,

Emmanuel.

All these names deepen our truth of the cosmic Christ,

who always was,

who became incarnate in time,

who is still evolving, expanding, and going forward.

  • Let us expand in creative love to a world so in need of the forgiving healing power of the Christ within us.
  • Let us be like Mary a channel, an instrument, a feminine presence of the Christ, the creative love of God.
  • Let us be like Joseph, caregiving companions to Mother Earth our home.
  • Let us rejoice and give thanks for this timeless gift!

I wish to each of you: Many Christmas Blessings!

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