The Light and Glory of God for All
BY LUCAS SHARMA, S.J. | December 28, 2020
Just a few days ago, at the nighttime Christmas masses, both our readings from Isaiah and Luke declare a savior will be born for all. The angel proclaims “good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” Today, we hear Simeon confirm the angel’s proclamation in his own assertion that this little boy, from a poor family in the middle of nowhere, born in a stable to an unwed mother, and first welcomed into the world by dirty shepherds, is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.”
They return home to Nazareth. What might Jesus have learned as he grew in wisdom? We know very little of his childhood, but perhaps we can turn to the second reading to imagine what Jesus could have learned. Perhaps becoming wise meant Jesus became a person of heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This is the Jesus we see across Luke’s Gospel: one who sees the poor, the marginalized, women, the excluded. In a word, the angel and Simeon were right: he brings his light and glory to all he encounters. He sees everyone, especially those his society tends to forget to see, and proclaims it is with them that we find the Kingdom of God.
Like Jesus, we are continually invited to ask him who we ought to become. For example, how are we, this Christmas season, invited to take on the wisdom of Jesus, to become more grateful, more loving, and compassionate? Who do we fail to see in our lives out of our comfort, hurriedness, or our indifference? How can we become more like Christ, who sees those we may not, so that we can build the inclusive Kingdom of God that Jesus longs for us all to have?
Lucas Sharma, S.J., is a deacon of the Jesuits West Province and a graduate student at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. He is currently serving as a deacon at St. Ignatius Parish in San Francisco, CA. Lucas serves on the boards of Seattle University and JVC Northwest working especially in mission and equity initiatives. When not studying, Lucas loves to cook and watch the soap opera General Hospital.
During this Christmas season, we ask o Lord, who should we become? In our Masses and prayers, dear Lord, help us to recognize the people we pray with. Their needs in the lives they have need comfort, love, compassion and hope. I take time now to ask the Lord to fill my life and theirs with the compassion of being right next to them on this journey. I ask God for the graces they need to do His will throughtout this day. Each simple and small task is for you generous and loving God. We ask you to bless our day and all the people who strive to continue your work for the Kingdom. We ought to become more and more like YOU. We ask you this through the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.
A meaningful challenge as Scripture always is, and it is so helpful to be reminded that we overlook our sisters and brothers. Only with those virtues can we become more aware of God’s presence in them. Thank you for your thoughtful reflection.
Nice reflection. Thanks.