This Long-Awaited Birth

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Christmas illustration by Frank Kacmarcik, OblSB, Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Used with permission.

He comes, the Redeemer, promised for so long. He comes into a world that is cold, hungry, violent, and desperate for words of hope, of peace, of love. Soon he comes as was foretold to us. With him, he brings new ways of acting, of living, ways that foretell God’s promise to us.  

The prophet Malachi spoke of him, and God sent Elijah to help us prepare for him. John the Baptist also came before him, dancing with delight in his mother’s womb just to be in his presence, though both were yet unborn. The adult John came cleansing and purifying us for this long-awaited birth. He came to proclaim the Good News of God, the birth of a Son who would be called Emmanuel, God with us.  

Today, we await the coming of this Child of promise—he who will help us rebuild our relationship with God, our Father, and with each other. He calls us and bids us welcome. We, in turn, worship and adore him. The world will be changed anew. Let us prepare for his coming, for this Child, this innocent newborn who comes to dwell among us. Born in a manger yet the Savior of the world, we call upon him to teach us by his example, to guide us along his way and to help us as we proclaim him: Jesus, the Son of God!  

© Liturgical Press.

Diana L. Hayes

Diana L. Hayes is professor emerita of systematic theology at Georgetown University and the author of numerous books.

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