“Our heart is wide open to you . There is no restriction in our affections, …In return..open wide your hearts also ” (2 Corinthians 6: 11 – 12).
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the definitive opening wide of the Trinity’s heart to us. Ever since the creation of mankind, God has been reaching out to us, providing continual proofs of His love for us, inviting us to engage with him in personal relationship. Throughout the millenia, He had been revealing more and more of Himself, His inner nature, His desire to share Himself with us . And now with the birth of his own Son into the world, God fully gives himself to us . It as if God had been testing us out, seeing if He could trust His greatest gift , his own Son, to us . And now He makes the supreme commitment of Himself to us . “God so loved the world, that He gave us His only Son” (John 3:16).
“No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1:18) . Jesus reveals the heart of God the Trinity, and it is one of self-giving love, first between the members of the Trinity themselves, Father , Son and Spirit, and then between the Trinity and us . The Spirit is the bridge of love between the Father and Son and ourselves. It is the Spirit overshadowing Mary’s womb (Luke 1: 35) that enables the Son of God to to become incarnate as a human being. It is the Spirit who enables the Son to come into the world as Gift from the Father to us . This is the ultimate act of trust from God to us, to hand over his innermost self, His Son, His Word, His Heart, to us . It is an intense moment of total vulnerability for God to come amongst us as a baby, trusting himself into our hands. No wonder Mary had to be conceived free from original sin, so she could be totally open to the action of God in her life. Who else could be trusted with such a gift as God’s own Son ?
Indeed, “God’s heart is wide open to ” us , and “there is no restriction in ” His affections for us . So now, God, having given absolute proof of His commitment to us, asks us what we are going to do about it. The Incarnation of His Son challenges us “in return, to open wide your hearts also” Are we willing to respond to God’s total self-gift by making the same gift of self back to Him? God has given us total freedom in this one area – the disposal of our heart’s commitment – and we can choose to hold ourselves back from God, or choose to respond to Him, in the same measure that He has opened Himself out to us, i.e. totally.
This Christmas, as we approach the manger scene , and see the helpless baby surrendered into his mother’s arms, understand that this is God surrendering Himself into ours. How will we choose to respond ?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our parishioners !!