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The mystery of Christmas lays upon us all a debt and an obligation to the rest of [humankind] and to the whole created universe. We who have seen the light of Christ are obliged, by the greatness of the grace that has been given us, to make known the presence of the Savior to the ends of the earth. This we will do not by preaching the glad tidings of His coming, but above all by revealing Him in our lives. Christ is born to us today, in order that He may appear to the whole world through us.

This one day is the day of His birth, but every day of our mortal lives must be his manifestation, His divine Epiphany, in the world which He has created and redeemed.

emphasis mine

Thomas Merton. Seasons of Celebration (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965): 112.


The Task of Reconcilaition by Henri Nouwen

What is our task in this world as children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus? Our task is reconciliation. Wherever we go we see divisions among people – in families, communities, cities, countries, and continents. All these divisions are tragic reflections of our separation from God. The truth that all people belong together as members of one family under God is seldom visible. Our sacred task is to reveal that truth in the reality of everyday life.

Why is that our task? Because God sent Christ to reconcile us with God and to give us the task of reconciling people with one another. As people reconcile with God through Christ we have been given the ministry of reconciliation” (see: 2 Corinthians 5:18). So whatever we do the main question is, Does it lead to reconciliation among people?

Emphasis mine

December 2008