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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

December 18th, 2013
Conan Rainwater
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When I was younger, I always thought it was strange that we would read the story of the birth of Jesus before Christmas Day. Now though, I see how Christmas is a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus to come into our lives. This is seen in the fact that Emmanuel means “God is with us.” In my parish back home in North Dakota, we would sing the same song as the entrance song. The parishioners would repeat, “Come, Come, Emmanuel. Come Emmanuel” while the cantor would sing small interjections over it. I really enjoyed this song, so I found a YouTube video that sings it with the lyrics; the link is at the bottom. It is helpful to be reminded of the story of Jesus’ birth before he does actually come to us on Christmas so that our hearts are ready.
“…you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
After looking at the note for verse 23 written above, I saw the following: “The name Emmanuel is alluded to at the end of the gospel where the risen Jesus assures his disciples of his continued presence, “‘…I am with you always, until the end of the age.’” God reminded us of his promise since we can lose sight of where God is in our lives. What does God being with you mean for you?
One thing that is means for is that I have a friend that I can turn to for anything. God is thirsting for us to come to him, for Jesus has come into our lives already even though Christmas Day has not arrived. We do not have to wait until Christmas for God to come. God comes to us in a variety of ways throughout the day if we choose not to close our door to him.
To ensure that we understand his promise, Jesus also said during his Last Supper discourse, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). How often and easy for us to forget that! Jesus not only comes on Christmas, but every day if we but open our hearts. This Christmas, let our prayer be that we may open our hearts to God coming, not only by remembering the story of his birth in Bethlehem, but in the our lives every day.

Below is a link to “Come, Come Emmanuel” (Advent Gathering Song), by James J. Chepponis. Hope you enjoy.

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