The Incarnation--Baptism of History


It is said that when Jesus received baptism, its effect was the obverse of the usual--rather than Jesus being cleansed of sin, because he had none, the waters of the world were made capable of this sacramental ability because of the power that went forth from Him and charged them to do so. In a sense the Baptism of Jesus was in effect, the baptism of the waters for all of us.

Like wise, when Jesus entered time, our linear perception of events, time became baptized in the waters of eternity. That is, time as we understand it and eternity had always existed together. A privileged few were given the ability to "enter into Eternity" and communicate directly with God. In the Old Testament, most of these were noted as "having a portion of His Spirit." In the New Testament, with the birth of Christ, eternity opened up in the here and now for all to enter into. Through Jesus Christ every person has been given the invitation to approach the Father more closely and love Him more dearly. In contemplation, we are given the privilege of entering for a time into God's timelessness and being there with Him. We speak of "spending time with God." In actuality, we "spend timelessness with God"-- in the ordinary realm of things, linear time marches on, but in our prayer, we are engaged in eternity and time has no real meaning.

This is the gift of Jesus Christ in the incarnation. Not the sum total of the gift, but one of the many aspects of the Divine that are now brought to intrude daily into the life of the believer. God no longer communicates only through one or two chosen prophets or priests--although He continues that mode of communication as well. Now God has chosen to open the doors to all--to allow all people to enter into eternity even as they live.

Sadly, most people choose not to do so. They don't really understand the nature of the gift or what it is they are supposed to do with it. But the entry into Eternity, those sublime moments of prayer, be they in private or in the celebration of the Mass, they are revivifying. If we deprive ourselves too long of them, our lives become wan and sere, dominated by the concerns of the only world we choose to know in any detail.

When Jesus entered into history, it can be said that History entered into the heart of Jesus. We all walk a road that leads directly to the Father, if we only choose to allow His grace to be the predominant force in our lives.

So we continued the advent journey and reflect on the manifold mysteries of the incarnation--that what is all Power and all Time chooses to become human so that what is human may become all Power and all Time even for a time while living. Christ entered history so that we might enter through Him into eternity and that we might become His servants and doormen--showing others the way to the Father.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 7, 2006 8:10 AM.

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