Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over the last several years, there has been an ad campaign promoting Jesus. You may have seen some of these on TV or on the Internet; they even ran one during the Super Bowl last year. The campaign is entitled He Gets Us and the ads often zig and zag until it reveals that who they’re talking about is Christ.

For example, there’s one that talks about this delinquent roaming the streets, who’s disliked by civil authorities and religious leaders, who’s got a bunch of followers, and who doesn’t always follow the rules. As the narration is going on, modern images play across the screen of tough looking people, teenagers riding skateboards, and other images of people who we may think are out of the mainstream of society. But the narration continues and tells us that this group of people weren’t out to cause chaos but to take care of others and who they’re talking about is Jesus. It finishes by reminding us that Jesus gets our human experience. It’s a powerful message.

And in essence, that idea is the same one that we celebrate in Christmas. We use different language for it, with words and phrases that we may not always fully understand or appreciate. The Incarnation, the Word became Flesh, the Marvelous Exchange; all of these give expression to something fundamental about the person of Jesus and what our faith experience is all about. In more contemporary language, we could say that in the birth of Christ, He gets us in a new and different way.

Theologically, we profess and believe that Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Trinity. Always has been, always will be. But we also believe that this same person took on a human nature, while still remaining divine. He didn’t do so on a lark or because He was bored. He did it for our sake and would eventually die for us and
our sins so as to save us from them. But if that were the sum total of it, He could have appeared one day as a full-sized adult and done the same. Rather, He took on the full human experience, starting with His birth, and being raised in a family. He made friends and enemies, worked in His father’s workshop, stubbed His toes,
laughed, cried, got angry. He had the full human experience so as to fully and truly get what we are going through in our lives. And it starts at Christmas.

Our parish is blessed to have all walks of life be with us for the Christmas celebrations. Young and old, longtime parishioners and brand new, those visiting from out of town and those that we see every week. But what draws us together in this holiday is the recognition that our God loves us so deeply that He took on the
human experience for Himself so that He might better know our joys and struggles and love us in all of it.

A Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan