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Christmas Message: Become the family of a loving Father

Jesus calls us back. Hence we no longer need any special place or time to worship our Father. He is always with us, wherever we go. He is not impressed by any building however costly it may be. Because he is our Father, we do not need special books to address him, nor do we need to put on some special clothes to approach him.

Christmas Message: Become the family of a loving Father

By Fr. Dr. Subhash Anand
Soon we will be celebrating the birthday of Jesus. In the liturgy of the universal Church, the Gospel reading for the third Mass—Mass during the day, reminds us that “the Word became flesh and pitched his tent (skene) among us” (Jn 1:14).

A Visual of Moses on Mount Sinai

Here the sacred writer is evoking the action of Moses. He pitched the tent where he met God outside the residential area of the Israelites. This meant that to meet God he had to go away from his people, and the people would stand at a distance and watch (Ex 33:7-8).

The man-made tent for God calls for a special place and some especially consecrated people—cultic priests. Even these can approach him only after putting on some special garments (Ex 28:2-29.9).

In Jesus, God himself pitches his tent right in our midst. The God of Jesus is not so much the Holy God of Israel, but the Loving Abba of us all. To meet him we do not have to leave anything or anybody behind. We do not have to put on any special clothes.


A Visual of Father embracing the Prodigal son

He himself comes running to us even when we have soiled ourselves, even when our clothes are dirty and we are stinking like pigs (Luke 15:20)!

Jesus tells us: “The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know” (John 4:21-22). How true, we worship a God we do not know. We have gone back to the Old Testament. We have abandoned the Father.

Jesus calls us back. Hence we no longer need any special place or time to worship our Father. He is always with us, wherever we go. He is not impressed by any building however costly it may be. Because he is our Father, we do not need special books to address him, nor do we need to put on some special clothes to approach him.


A Visual of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well

Because he is our Father, we do not need to approach him through the mediation of priests on earth, or saints in heaven. When we do so, we disown him, the loving Father.

This is the Good News. For many of us it is too good to be true! So, we revert to the Old Testament. We prefer to be slaves of rules and regulations rather than be children guided by love.

May the Father give us his Spirit so that we understand better the Good News his Son offers us.

May this Good News bring you joy now and all through the New Year.

(Fr. Dr. Subhash Anand is a former professor of Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune and a visiting professor to several seminaries in India.)

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