Friday, December 25, 2020

The Point

"And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth."

-John 1:14

At a certain point in time God became incarnate. The second person of the Trinity was born in a particular place, Bethlehem of Judea. 

This specific point in both history and on the earth changed the world. 

From the moment that God sanctified our humanity by becoming one of us in all ways except sin in the person of Jesus Christ, He created a ripple that has emanated out in an attempt to have a relationship with each and every one of us. 

From this point in time - the first Christmas - and space - the manager - and matter - baby Jesus, there has been a wave rolling outward in all directions and at all times hoping to encounter you and me and everyone. 

This is the essence of the name of the Catholic Church. The word "catholic" is often defined as universal. Universal, though, might not be the best way to consider why our Church bears the name Catholic and how to claim that Jesus established this one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. 

Universal comes from two Latin words unum meaning “one” and vertere meaning “turn”. In this way, consider a compass that you used in geometry class to make a circle. From a certain point, the other arm of the compass encircles it: one turn. 

The problem with this, though, is that no matter where the line ends up, when you make the one turn there will undoubtedly be people outside of it. Christ came for all, not those fortunate enough to be on the inside of the line. 

Instead, if we look at the Greek word, katholikos, we see that the words kata meaning “throughout” and holos meaning “whole” give us a different idea of the point of Christmas. 

Instead of the compass that draws a line, katholikos offers the image of a drop at a certain point in a body of water. Ripples will emanate outward in all directions. 

If we consider the point in time, space, and matter that is Jesus Christ, we might be able to visualize a drop big enough, powerful enough, magnificent enough to continue to extend outward, infinitely and everywhere. 

To you. To me. To everyone. 

May this Christmas be another point in time that will emanate outward throughout the whole of time, space, and matter. 

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills, up on the rooftops, around the Christmas tree, on the city sidewalks, and in winter wonderlands, and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born. 

That is the point of Christmas.