Christmas (Vigil Mass)
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Isaiah 62:1-5; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-25
“For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.” Isaiah 62:1a
I believe that the vast majority of people in this world are fundamentally good. To do evil and to act violently is against our nature, even more so now that Jesus, the Word of God, has entered our world, become one of us, and restored us to what we were meant to be. And yet we seem to see violence and injustice everywhere we turn in this world. I believe this is because so many of these good people are silent in the face of the injustice done by a few. Perpetrators count on the silence of the masses, on bystanders not getting involved in order to accomplish their schemes. Most Germans and other Europeans had some idea of what was happening to Jews and others under the Nazi regime, but resistors and those who spoke out were few and far between. Hitler started out with “small” injustices and found little resistance and so he kept pushing, ever more boldly until a world war broke out and millions were murdered. Those who stood by were complicit in this, even if their own consciences opposed it (Adapted from a quote at the U.S. Holocaust Museum).
Isaiah reminds us to not be quiet, to not be silent when we see injustice, violence, and oppression. We must resist racism, sexism, homophobia, militarism, and environmental destruction. Such outspokenness and resistance can seem scary, especially when we seem all alone in it, but we must remember that God calls us “espoused” and “my delight.” Knowing we are unconditionally beloved can encourage and strengthen us to speak and act. We must also remember that when Christ became human, He called and empowered all humans to follow Him. He also said He would always be with us so we are never alone.
Meditate on the reality of the incarnation, that Jesus who spoke out against and resisted injustice to the point of death was one of us. Does this inspire you to speak or act against injustice in a place where you have previously been silent or a bystander?
Reflection by Brian Ashmankas
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