Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's God's World


Now it happened that when all the people had been baptized and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, today I have fathered you."  Luke 3:21

When I think of Bethlehem I must never imagine the love of God to be small, like a baby. But God's love is radical (radix = root) and wild. 

It doesn't make sense: a God who joins sinners in the river of repentance. Eastern Christians sing about God's re-possessing all of creation, beginning with the waters of the world, as Jesus stepped down into the river. And we are made primarily of water! This means, it's God's world no matter what happens. 

And everything is changed now as Jesus joins the river scene. Here, God is searching, forgiving, restoring, healing, reconciling. As sad and as awful as the world can be at times, the first truth is this good news - it is God's world always. Pity, a lot of people, even many Christians, no longer believe this.


12 comments:

  1. In the Eastern Orthodox Church this day is also called Theophany, meaning manifestation of God because at the time of Jesus’ baptism, God revealed Himself as the Holy Trinity. God the Father spoke from the heavens, the Son of God was baptized, and the Holy Spirit descended in a form like a dove.

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    1. The Holy Trinity is revealed. Yes. God's inner community, inner friendship. And with which we are soaked and flooded in our own baptism. It changes everything, doesn't it?

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  2. Nothing in this world makes any sense these days. I can believe that God is with us, but we are drowning in the water.

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    1. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to live while Hitler was coming to power - or after he was elected (even more scary) and his evil became apparent and your neighbors started to disappear. We're drowning alright, but I'd say we're drowning in hatred. So keep inhaling and exhaling kindness (call it mercy perhaps). I refuse to go under.

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  3. Every time has its own atrocities bathed in hatred. If we read history, it seems that some race, religion, ethnicity, etc., has been branded as evil and has been persecuted against. I will keep kindness alive in my own circle and try to spread what I can, but it is hard not to think that the world is indeed going under.

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  4. For sure. I grew up in the 1950's and when I start to think, "Oh things were better then - people were kinder, home was safer, it was slower...." I call myself back to reality and remember that black people were being hanged in our country then. My boyhood development (neighborhood) was largely Jewish - but I remember the day when 4 Christian men came to our house to speak with my father. I stood next to him as they clustered just inside the door and asked him to help them buy out a black family that they found out wanted to purchase a house on the street. I never had a lesson on these things - but I knew deeply how wrong it was. So much for the sweetness of the 1950's. Are things worse now? Who can say. In the early 60's I remember hearing on the living room "stereo" that Catholic nuns had been murdered in the Congo. I was so saddened and afraid. I was a devout Catholic boy who had nuns for teachers. Maybe the thing is to minimize our exposure to TV/radio/internet news...whatever steals your peace. If the world is going to end, someone will come by and tell you (me). Meanwhile, today the Christmas season really ends and I'm listening to "O Little Town of Bethlehem" on my ipad. I send a blessing to all.

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  5. Thank you for the blessing today! I too was listening to Christmas carols today! Bitter sweet. And Mass had no music last night as musician was ill, wanted to start silent night but was a guest ad I did a pitch for baby bottles. Life goes on. Loved your comment that someone will come and tell me the world is ending! Truly gave me a chuckle!

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  6. By this Baptism and the journey that Jesus will take will make new things possible. The greatest will be the Eucharist. Which will give me food for the journey and hope. Which enables my spirit to keep fighting to stay above water.

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  7. Indeed. And in Baptism we have entre into the inner life of God which is communal and relational. It's where we find each other. And that's also celebrated (or ought to be) in the Eucharist. That's often lacking though - this sense of each other. We're not on our own in this journey-ing. I'd say I have that sense even in this blog - knowing that believers are seeing it all over the world. We're not in this alone. I must take heart!

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  8. That we do read this together does make me take heart. That I have a sense of community in another part of my life helps to keep me feeling good and motivated. I wouldn't return here often if that feeling didn't inspire me to be a better person in my thoughts and in my day to day actions.

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  9. To be humble means to recognize and accept what it is that we’re made of — a mix of gifts and skills, weaknesses and faults. With this comes the reality that we’re made of the same “stuff” as every other person on the planet. None of us is better than anyone else. We’re all gifted and beautiful, faulted and broken in our own ways. And each of us is loved by the God who created and sustains us.

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