REJOICE! HOPE! By Sister Clara Schroeder, CSJP

REJOICE! HOPE!  On continued ponderings of the Christmas message, these two words come to kind.        

Why REJOICE?  How can we not rejoice when we realize what a loving and caring God we have!  Our almighty and omnipotent God loves us so much that He condescended to send His only Son, Jesus, to be one of us, mortal and imperfect as we are. In Philippians, Chapter 2, we read……”Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself…..coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” 

When I gaze on the Christ Child in the stable, I am so touched by the humbleness and poverty I see there.  Oh, yes, Jesus, you did humble yourself.  In the poverty of your birth, you showed your love for the poor.  With all the sadness and strife in our world today, how can the image of a baby not soften our hearts and give us cause to rejoice in a future for a better world?

Why HOPE?  I believe that HOPE requires trust.  In his humble and obedient birth according to his father’s will, and throughout his entire life up to his death and resurrection, Jesus showed us how to live with all the setbacks and sufferings in our lives.  Jesus showed us that our lives don’t end in death.  Rather, in his resurrection, Jesus taught us that our lives continue after death in a new and glorious way!  Jesus gave us this HOPE and it all began with the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God! 

I believe that the message of the Christ Child to each one of is this:  Don’t give up!  I am with you!  I lived, suffered and died for you!  REJOICE in my everlasting love for you!  Continue to HOPE in my strength for you to live my values!  Trust me!