Christmas Sunday Homily, 2019
Jesus is the answer.
When Solomon prayed for Wisdom, and when we follow his example (as in Wisdom 9:1-7), Jesus is the answer. “O come thou wisdom from on high, and ordrest all things mightily…. Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”
When looking for joy, looking for love, the world offers so much to try and fulfill us. Some of it’s good and some of it’s bad. But in Revelation 21:9-14 we are shown a bride, a glorious city that has the glory of God. It is the Bride of Christ, to be married to the Lamb, Jesus. Like a rare jewel and precious stone, Jesus is that greatest treasure and giver of love to whom only we can turn for eternal satisfaction and glory.
When, like Isaiah (in 61:10-62:5), we find ourselves Forsaken, and Desolate, in a land that is barren of God’s Word full of people like sheep who have gone astray, everyone to his own way, we see that Jesus is the answer. He is the one that makes us the Delight of the Lord and Married.
When we feel like slaves, or (as it’s put in Galatians 3:23-4:7) at best endless students without hope of graduation, always yoked to rules we cannot keep, and second-class citizens to the holier people of ages past; and when the barriers of the world hold us apart even from one another in an endless battle of the sexes and racism and other prejudices, again, Jesus is the answer. Baptized into him we find the barriers of the world are divided, and gender and race and country are no longer means of separation but simply new parameters toward worshiping him. No longer slaves, we are counted as children of God; Christ becoming our brother rather than our master. And perhaps most amazing of all, this makes us heirs of God with Christ Jesus.
And this is not a new answer. Yes, St. John’s revelation pointed him back to Jesus whom he’d known, and St. Paul’s epistle looks back on the power of Christ in church life, but we find this same answer is the writings of Isaiah the Prophet, centuries before Jesus was born. So too with the Wisdom of Solomon, written in the name of that famous king well before Christ, the ancient quest for wisdom is put into the context of a light no darkness can quench, the light of life itself. Isaiah and Solomon and the other authors of ancient scripture did not know Jesus as a man, but they did know him in other ways. For (John 1:1-18) in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through that Word; in that Word was life, and that life was the light of men, which was coming into the world, shining (sometimes lonely) in the darkness but never overcome. When he did come into the world, as the man Jesus, he was not readily recognized by many, yet he gave many the right to become children of God once again, giving them a supernatural birth into his supernatural family.
The Word was made flesh when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, but in Christmastide we celebrate the birth of that child, when the Word of God became truly visible for all to see. The wisdom from on high, the hope and desire of nations, the wonderful counselor, the prince of peace, God of God, Light of Light, the answer, finally dwelt among us. No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground: he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found! Venite adoremus Dominum – O come let us adore the Lord.