An Untraditional Christmas Meditation

BY JAMES HUG S.JDecember 5, 2013
The Incarnation of God began billions of years ago when the earliest forms of matter were ignited and began the vast cosmic expansion that is home to us all today.

Billions of years passed as God patiently worked, preparing creation to bring forth the divinely human Jesus.  When that work was complete, in the sacred Fullness of Time, there was an eternally important but little noticed event in which, as Elizabeth Johnson noted,

“Real blood was shed at this delivery, by a poor woman of peasant society far from home, laboring in childbirth for the first time. And it was holy.”The centuries since Jesus began to open our eyes to our deeper humanly divine reality have witnessed God quietly continuing to develop the Incarnation slowly among us, building communities of trust and hope that may one day evolve with our help into a world of peace with justice and love for all.  On that day, conscious of the divine life we each embody, we will embrace God within and among us all.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin reminds us:

“Above all trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally, impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient on the way to something unknown,
something new;
And yet it is made by passing through stages of instability
And that may take a very long time. . . .

“Only God can say what this new spirit
forming within you will be.
Give the Lord the benefit of believing
that His hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
In suspense and incomplete.”

James Hug, S.J.

James Hug, S.J., most recently served as the President of the Center of Concern, a Washington, DC based social justice institute rooted in Catholic social tradition and working for greater economic, social, and ecological justice globally. In this role he had significant involvement with the Ecology taskforce of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network, and also served on the boards of CIDSE, an international coalition of Catholic development agencies and the National Council of Pax Christi USA. He holds a doctoral degree in Christian ethics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Christian spirituality from St. Louis University.

Fr. Hug’s research has focused on issues of faith and economic justice and her has lectured and directed workshops throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. He was the editor of the Center of Concern’s “Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret, author of Social Revelation: Profound Challenge for Christian Spirituality,” and the editor of “Tracing the Spirit: Communities, Social Action, and Theological Reflection.” Jim has also written chapters for “Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Crisis, Future Hope” and “The Pastoral Circle Revisited: A Critical Quest for Truth and Transformation.”

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