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Categorized | From the Pulpit

So, they went in haste (Luke 2:16)

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs, Michigan, 616 696 3904

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord concludes Christmas; so, by the time you read this column, the season is either in its final days or already closed.  Leaving Christmas, here is some thought on the shepherds “in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock” (Lk 2:8) on the night of Christ’s birth. 

In accordance with the evangelist Luke’s theme, the simple people were singled out as the recipient of God’s favors and blessings. These shepherds were chosen by God to hear this from the angels: “Today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk 2:11).  What a privilege reserved for the lowly! Then, “when the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So, they went in haste” (Lk 2:15-16). Let us reflect on the example of these humble people—their “going over” to Bethlehem and doing so “in haste!”

 “Let us go over to Bethlehem.” The shepherds dared to step beyond, to make the transition. We need to follow in their footsteps by going outside our habits of thought and life. We need to cross from the purely material world into the real one; to go across to the God who in His turn has come across to us. Throughout the centuries, the prayers of the Church often refer to the Incarnation as Holy Exchange: God humbled Himself to share our humanity so that we may be partakers in the divine life.  May we overcome the limitations of our world to encounter Him, through whom we have access to the eternal life.

“They went in haste.” The matter of God cannot be pushed to another occasion or procrastinated to whenever it is convenient to the human calendar. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. “The things of God can wait” is what we say. And yet He is the one and the most important. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? 

“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age” (Titus 2: 11-12). Yes, Christ the Lord has entered our world.  May this 2021 be the time for all of us to be like the shepherds to cross over in haste to God’s side.

(Father Lam also is the Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 West Maple St, Sand Lake, Michigan 49343 phone: 616-636-5671.)

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