O Come, O Come Emmanuel
I just came in to my office and passed a man by the name of Emmanuel. I told him “I love to say your name during Advent (the time of preparation of Christmas). The word Advent means coming, and of course “Emmanuel” means God With Us. A common Advent song in our tradition is, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” The Savior has many names: Prince of Peace, The Way, The Truth, The Life among many others. They all try to describe the indescribable and extravagant love of God.
An example that highlights this goodness of God happened recently when a guest called me from the hospital and said, “Let me tell you how good God is.” This man had lost his wife, lost his mom, lost any inheritance he might have had. Was beaten and left maimed. Homeless, he was in the rain for several days, and he went into a restaurant to get warm, and he fell out. When he woke, people were asking him if he needed to go to the hospital. He said, “Yes, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!!” He was full of pneumonia and would have died if he did not get help when he did. He repeated on the phone to me:
Br. Bob, see how good God is? I almost died, and now I am able to breathe and the social worker here is helping me get housing. Isn’t Good good?!!
That says it all. O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, and set us all free from what binds us. Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all, Oh yes, and may we all take on that mane in some way this season, being an image of God with one another.
Br. Bob Malloy, OFM Cap
Capuchin Soup Kitchen Chaplain