Christmas’ Redemption

ImageAhhhhh. It’s finally finished.  The wars have ended.  Famine is now an ancient word that future generations will ask, “What was that like back then?”  Unemployment, fare wage, healthcare will have solved themselves because of this historic and faith-filled day.

Wow.  That was close.  We thought that this was about to go on forever but thanks to Christmas, we don’t have to worry any longer.  Who made this all happen?  Was it Batman?  Superman?  Spider man?  No, it couldn’t have been them in their disguises.  We want to see who our heroes are.  We don’t want masks or capes or fast cars.  We want Bruce Willis in his Christmas movies where through each one he overcomes all obstacles, every villain (known and unknown), with every new twist and turn where we predict his certain death but he continues until the final two hours is complete, complete with wife in his arms.  (And always with a short quip or a sense of humor throughout his ordeal.)

That’s who we want to thank for this historic transformation of our world.  Oh wait?  I don’t think it’s Bruce Willis, I think it’s Clint Eastwood who just shoots everyone before him until he’s the last person standing and the closing credits roll.  That’s the solution to the problems before us.

No, it’s not Bruce or Clint as much as we would hope.  The problem is that the problem lies within us.  Our hero is that darn guy who told us that if we live within him then the solutions will unfold themselves and then solutions will be, well, solved.

Damn it all.  We wanted someone else to do it.  We wanted to rely on someone else so that if it failed we could blame him or her.  We wanted someone else to do what we were created to do.

Jesus Christ puts the worldly blame upon us and Jesus Christ puts the world’s responsibility upon us.  Upon each of us.

We eat him up each time we gather in prayer.  We eat him up for our salvation or is it for the salvation of the world?  We eat him up so that we feel better or is it for the betterment of our world?  We eat him up so that our hurts ease a little or is it to ease our hurtful world?

“Justice and mercy shall kiss,” is one of my favorite biblical passages.  Kissing is such an intimate exchange.  Is is possible that the NRA can kiss a mother who lost her daughter to a gun?  Is it possible that political egos can somehow merge and even kiss to forge a future for us together?

Is it possible for me to reduce myself at times to allow you to increase?  Even if it’s temporary, let me get smaller so you may be enlarge, at a least for a moment.

Jesus Christ tricked us.  The ultimate “trick or treat” happened upon us.  Jesus, the hero, tricked us by telling and showing us that we are the treat.  We have him living and breathing within us.

Of Bruce, Clint or Jesus; which would we choose?  Unfortunately, we’d choose either of the first two because then we’re not involved, we only need to observe.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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