Out of the silence of Mary’s womb, a baby emerged into a world of human struggle. The infant, born in a stable in Bethlehem, outgrew the manger in which he was laid and the swaddling bands in which he was wrapped, as he would later leave the tomb and throw off the wrappings of death. Jesus of Nazareth grew up to challenge his world and ours with the promise of everlasting love. With his hands, he offered a healing touch; with his arms, he held and consoled; with his feet, he walked with his friends and disciples. And after all was said and done he offered his very body and blood. The Word was consumed in the wordless eloquence of the cross and the silence of the empty tomb. Out of that silence is raised a passionate belief in promise, in covenant. When despair overwhelms us, when promises suddenly seem empty, when it seems that we’re surrounded by dashed dreams and disappointment, by love betrayed and friendships faltering, we remember that we’ve staked our lives on the belief that only through death is there life.
Out of the silence, we must go forth and proclaim the love of God alive and dwelling in our midst. To this love we commit all that we are and all that we can become. We follow Jesus of Nazareth. We love as he loved. And so we are called to bring a healing touch to those who hurt, to gather people into a loving embrace, to cry out at the horrors of oppression and destruction, to cherish the gifts of creation in all its varied forms.
We must become the word of love spoken by God in our hearts. We must become the Good News made flesh for our world.
—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent
by Diane M. Houdek