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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Dec. 25, 2011

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

December 25, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 98:1-6

2) Hebrews 1:1-6

Gospel: John 1:1-18

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. It was a realization I had fought against, denied whenever it was mentioned and resisted with every fiber of my being. In that not-as-horrifying-as-I-thought-it-would-be moment, I realized I was just like my dad.

When I was a boy, one of my jobs was to stand by my father while he worked around the house fixing a car, repairing the lawnmower or building things in the garage. My role in each of these endeavors was to get the tool he needed from the toolbox and then return it when we finished, but I had to wipe the tool off before it was put back.

I silently hated doing this. After all, I had friends to play with and time to waste in the local woods. Why was I being taken away from these important tasks?

Fast-forward 15 years and find a young adult Jeff working on his car. When I finished I wiped off all my tools as I returned them to the toolbox. As I watched myself doing this task I froze mid-wipe and was simultaneously mad at myself and a little proud. I simply could not believe that I had taken on the trait from my father that I had hated as a kid. Yet at the same time, I grudgingly admitted that I was glad I was like my dad.

Like it or not, we are a lot like our parents. This is true for all humans, including Jesus.

The Letter to the Hebrews informs us in this Christmas second reading that Jesus is the "very imprint" of his Father's being. Jesus, too, is just like his dad. This, of course, is the truth of the Incarnation and the impetus for all decking of halls, adorning of trees and wrapping of presents.

Jesus is the radiance of his Father and the very imprint of the Father's being. This radiance and imprint are passed along to us through our baptism. So in a very real way, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus we celebrate the imprint of God on our soul. This may just be the best Christmas present of all.


What are some ways you are just like your parents? Do any of these similarities surprise you? What characteristics do you share with God?


"[He] is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being" (Hebrews 1:3).


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