In my family, we ask each other two questions; “what’s going on?” and “what do you need?” The first is our standard daily greeting - an invitation to check in, to share updates, a question that often doesn’t even need a response. The second is more serious and more solemn; when someone brings up health or financial concerns, personal struggles, or shares difficult news - someone else in the family will ask them what do you need?’ The question implies a willingness to assist in any way possible, a pledge of support, a desire to be with them in the situation, a blank check that they only need to name in order to cash.
What’s troubling you this Christmas? Are you praying? Check in with God today and use the Canticle of Zechariah as your template. Take note of how urgently God desires your authentic freedom. God does not make us stumble toward him, but rather he comes to his people and sets them free. The Father has not given us a tepid moralizer to follow but has raised up a mighty Savior. Our God does not sit idly by while we are bombarded by life but instead he has promised to save us from our enemies. He does not toss platitudes at us while we struggle against our chains but rather he has sworn an oath to set us free, free to be ourselves – to be who we are without fear. Only from this place of authentic self-possession can we become his prophets, that is, people who bring the mercy of God to the world, to give them knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.
My brothers and sisters…my family – what’s going on? what do you need?
- Father Federico