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The World Pines for a Savior

Oh, Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining!
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

My favorite Christmas hymn is “Oh Holy Night.” The lyrics speak of the emptiness in the heart of the world after Original Sin. The world is pining for a savior.

Long lay the world
In sin and error pining

In His teaching, Jesus tells the story of the “Prodigal Son.” The younger son of the family demands his inheritance, before his father is even dead. In doing this, the son rejects the father and the family. He then squanders his inheritance on selfish pleasure until he finally recognizes how empty his life is.

But when he finally comes to his senses, poor and “longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything,” he knew that he was unworthy of returning to his father. He had betrayed and rejected the family. So he decides to return to his father and ask to be a servant.

But then comes the surprising part of Jesus’ story.

The father runs out to meet his returning son, dresses him in a robe and puts a ring on his finger. That ring is the ring of family authority. The father had restored his son to full sonship.

This is exactly the story of humanity. In our sin, we chose our inheritance (which we would have gotten anyway) over the Father and His Family. We squander our inheritance on selfishness and live small lives. But the Father shows us the true value of our souls by sending His only Son to redeem us and to restore us to the Family.

'Til He appeared
and the soul felt its worth.

That line sends chills down my spine every time. How much God loves us! How greatly esteemed we are in His eyes!

As we continue this week in joyful anticipation of the coming of our savior, let’s keep in mind the great gravity of the reason for our joy. Christmas isn’t just a season of “good will.” It should fill us with awe and wonder at the great love of our God.

A thrill of hope!
A weary world rejoices.
Yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn!

I am a husband, father and Catholic adult faith formation expert. My mission as an educator is to help Catholic adults rediscover the JOY of learning and living their faith so they can grow in intimacy with God.

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