Our Christmas “Hero”

18“Ahhhhh. 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 wages, excellent healthcare will have solved themselves, all because of this historic and faith-filled day.”

Wow.  That was close.  We thought this stuff would go on forever.  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 anyone disguised.  We want to see who our heroes are.  We don’t need masks, capes or fast cars.  We want Bruce Willis in all his Christmas movies when he overcomes all obstacles and every villain with every new twist and turn when we expect his certain death but he continues onward until the final two minutes is complete, complete with wife in his arms.  (And always with short quips tossed at us 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 standing before him until he’s the last person standing; all without the quips or even complete sentences.  He’s the solver to the problems plaguing us for generations.

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

Darn it all.  We wanted someone else to do it.  We wanted to rely on someone else so that if it failed we could blame that someone.  We wanted someone else to do what we were created to do.  We just want to sit back, with popcorn in lap, and watch someone else perform the miracle this day provides.

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.  Do we eat him up for our own salvation or is it for the salvation of the world?  Do we eat him up so that we feel better or is it for the betterment of our world?  Do we eat him up so that our worries and hurts hurt a little less 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 it possible that the NRA can kiss the mother who lost her daughter to a gun?  Is it possible that political egos can somehow merge and even kiss to forge a future of mercy?

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 enlarge.

Jesus Christ tricked us.  The ultimate “trick or treat” happened at Christmas.  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?  Let’s hope and pray this sacred night every year that we would never choose the first two because then we’d only be eating popcorn and observing; not involved, invested and inconveniently inclusive.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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