Believing Is Seeing ~ Br. Jake Vogel, Postulant
Some of you may remember a wonderful Tim Allen Christmas movie from the 90s called, The Santa Clause. I remember seeing it the first Christmas it came out and re-watching it as a Christmas staple several Christmases thereafter. The movie is a light-hearted comedy about the main character accidentally becoming the new Santa and all to the shock and delight of his child who, due to his mom’s new boyfriend, had lost his belief in Santa. From the very beginning of the movie the father, played by Tim Allen is questioned by the boy about all the different reasons why believing in Santa seemed irrational to him and the father’s response was, “Charlie, sometimes believing in something means… you just believe in it.” wanting to instill faith in his son that anything is possible if you believe.
Later on in the movie the fathers own faith is tested when he arrives to the north pole and realizes that he indeed will be the new Santa, he questions an elf saying, “I see it but I don’t believe it.” to which the elf Judy responds, “You’re missing the point. Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing. Kids don’t have to see this place to know that it’s here, they just know.”
The whole underlying theme of the movie is that sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives and what society teaches us as a reality, that we start to lose our faith and need to, ‘see to believe’. In today’s gospel, “Joseph [Mary’s] husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose [Mary] to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”” like the elf Judy reminded Santa of his faith and duty to it, so did the angel of the lord to Joseph.
Often today not only in this season but in our lives of modernity, we forget that miracles are possible through faith if we are willing to believe and submit to God’s plan for us as Mary did so many years ago when she said to the angel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant,… May it be to me as you have said.” Christmas is a time that we should remember and proclaim to others the awesome news that, “With man this [miracle] is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” and that our wonderful Father in heaven, “… God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This season is a time to reflect and be reminded of the literal birth of our salvation into the world.
On this wonderful vigil of the Nativity of our Lord, I ask that we not be like Charlie the questioning child or like Joseph the caring but doubting husband and rather that we chose this Christmas season to believe that Christmas miracles do exist and that we don’t have to see them to know that they exist. Sometimes we just have to trust in ourselves and in our faith and instead of questioning or trying to figure out the will of God, we should just submit to it, understanding that if we only believe he will provide for us what we need because he loved us enough to let his only son who was born on this very eve die to save us so that we can one day be reunited with him and all his saints in his heavenly kingdom. So as we embark into the Christmas celebrations just remember, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.”
God, the one who loved us enough to give up your only son;
God the Holy Spirit who brought us the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us through your humble servant Mary,
and God the son who was born on this day to save us from our trespasses;
We ask that on this day of your nativity,
you grant us the hearts to believe without being witnesses to the event but knowing that it and its message is the truth of this season. May we each be witnesses to the Miracle of Christmas and bless others as you have blessed us.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
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