Awesome and alluring blessing
Jesus is our only Savior, and he saves in an awesome and alluring way. He will bless us when as priests through our baptism, we invoke his name upon one another.
There is no other name by which salvation comes to us but the name of Jesus. And since he is our all (SV.EN:537), it is enough for us to receive his awesome and alluring blessing.
First, this blessing guarantees us the protection of God. It assures us besides of the light from his bright face, of his grace, merciful gaze and peace.
And peace is more than the absence of war. It indicates, moreover, the fulfillment of our noblest wishes, embracing human maturity according to Christ’s fullness. And enjoying this peace, the people of God on earth glorify him truly.
Secondly, the blessing of Jesus supposes divine love. And lovable in the sight of God are the lowly who tremble at his word. Their delight is the fear of the Lord; his beloved wonder at his awesome and alluring revelation.
To wonder (Wunder in German) entails wound (wunde in the same aforementioned language), as Robert P. Maloney, C.M., suggested long ago. Those who wonder let something strange cut the membrane around their heart and consciousness.
Yes, God surprises is awesome, surprising.
It is unbelievable that a child, helpless and in swaddling clothes just like any other child, is the Savior. The Messiah and Lord lies on a manger also, not in a crib for royal babies. The latter are in palaces at the capital; the former is somewhere in the city of David.
That is because, just as with the choice of the shepherd David, God sees the heart. He chooses the foolish, the lowly and the weak. Through them, he shows, to the surprise of many, his wisdom, greatness and strength.
So, he invites Mary, who answers with humble and submissive faith. She then turns into a proclaimer of the greatness of God and a bearer of joy. In addition, she becomes the Mother of God. After Jesus, she our perfect model, as St. Vincent de Paul says repeatedly (see “Mary” SV.EN XIV:379). Hearing, reflecting on, and doing the word of God, Mary is truly among the intimate family members of Jesus. She is blessed both for being the Mother of Jesus and for her commitment to the Word.
God calls likewise the shepherds who smell like sheep and other rotten and unclean things. Their reply of grateful faith is unquestioning and wastes no time. They go in haste and later become so awesome and alluring preachers that they amaze all their hearers.
Awesome and alluring indeed is Jesus’ blessing for the poor who cry out, “Abba!” It reaches its most awesome and alluring finish with the loss that he suffers as he gives his body up and sheds his blood.
We praise you, Father, for your awesome and alluring revelation to the lowly.
1 January 2017
Mary Mother of God
Num 6, 22-27; Gal 4, 4-7; Lk 2, 16-21