2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
This evening we are celebrating the greatest act of love the universe has ever seen. "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and His name will be called Wonderful." Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah gives us the source and reason why God has come to us in an astonishingly human way. It is because of His passionate love for humanity. "The zeal qinʾâ of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this." The Hebrew word zeal is an ardent word. It is not as if Isaiah is saying that God has some distant interest in us, but rather a vehement feeling for us.
The other day I was preaching in a Louisville parish that God is crazy about us. There is always something irrational about love! An older man came up to me afterwards and said: In all my years, I never thought of God as being so impassioned about me. The Hebrew Scriptures often speak of the intense love God has for His people and as Isaiah reminds us, it is wonderful to behold. "Let them see your zeal qinʾâ for your people!" Is 26:11 He has "wrapped himself in zeal qinʾâ as a cloak." Isaiah was not beyond goading God’s concern in times of distress: "Where are your zeal qinʾâ and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me." Is 63:15
The New Testament uses many words to express this fervid love that God has for us. "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor ĕudŏkia rests." Eudokia in Greek means to think well of someone. How precious we are to God we will never fathom in this life. But even our secular world each year forgets itself in a splurge of joy and lights to celebrate the Birth of Christ. If even a shadowing vision can cause such joy, imagine what a full vision of faith can bring! "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you 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."
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.