Sunday, December 23, 2012

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker 

"Rootedness" can be defined in several ways: having roots, being well established, unable to move, having strong ties. The readings on this final week of Advent show a rootedness that is best described as having strong ties.

Micah speaks of rootedness from of old, from ancient times. From this rootedness will come the long awaited ruler who will rule by the strength of the Lord and in the majestic name of the Lord. This rootedness in God is so great this ruler will be peace.

The letter to the Hebrews affirms similar words of Isaiah noting that God does not want holocausts and offerings but a rootedness or deep connection with God described as doing his will. The deep spiritual rootedness surrounding the pregnancy and birth of Jesus reaches a moving climax in Luke's Gospel in the visit that takes place between Mary and her older cousin Elizabeth – and in a more hidden way between two second cousins: Jesus and John the Baptist).

Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary is blessed. John leaps for joy. Jesus is recognized as the savior. This is a blessed moment of such rootedness that even the babies within the wombs of their respective mothers recognize God's grace and the holiness of the moment.

Luke, of course, is speaking deep and wonderful theological words for us, the readers, so that we can understand what is happening and who is being introduced to us.

We are finally fully prepared in this Advent season to welcome the Christ into our hearts and lives so that we can birth him to others. This is, indeed, the real meaning of Christmas.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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