Daily Reflection
December 20th, 2001
Richard Hauser, S.J.
Rector, Theology Department
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Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Luke 1:26-38

"The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel [because "God is with us"].

The Church has always seen Isaiah's  prophecy fulfilled in the conception of Jesus in Mary's womb through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We humans will never fathom the depth of the Divine Love precipitating God's entrance into history in the womb of an insignificant Jewish virgin in an insignificant  little country.

And Immanuel, "God with us," did not merely live on our planet  two thousand years ago; He has remained with us ever since.  In baptism Immanuel is born again in us through water and the Holy Spirit.  We humans will never fathom the depth of Divine Love moving the eternal God to dwell even in our insignificant little hearts.

We know Immanuel abides in our hearts;  we  also know our hearts are often restless and dissatisfied,  dominated by personal material gratification and alienated from the Christ within.  Poignantly we realize we have not opened our hearts fully to receive Him. 

But we have hope for ourselves, for there is an answer to our restlessness and dissatisfaction.  We know the answer is opening ourselves more deeply to the indwelling Christ, allowing Jesus to heal and transform all our disordered relationships, all our disordered activities. And  we cry,  "O come, O come, Immanuel."

And we have hope for our world.  In the wake of Sept. 11 we realize, perhaps as never before, how desperately our world needs divine intervention. We proclaim with Isaiah, "Say to those whose hearts are frightened; Be strong, fear not!  Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you."

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