Hope in these troubled times springs from Jesus, Bishop Kemme says
Bishop Carl A. Kemme talked about the hope that results from love of Jesus Christ at the Christmas Eve Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Our Lord’s messianic titles offer believers hope, something that is always needed but needed now more so than ever, the bishop said from his cathedra.
“The world, not unlike the world at the time of his birth, is a world full of confusion, doubt, and for many a place of darkness and despair,” he said. “Many are gripped by fear, fear of loss, fear of sickness and disease, fear of losing that which we thought was secure and stable. Many have lost their way and are asking what is the meaning of life and how and when will we ever get through this darkness of our times. Many are seeking hope. Jesus, born for us, is the fulfillment of that hope.”
Jesus: Wonder Counselor
Look to Jesus as wonder counselor, a guide, and one who bestows wisdom and direction, Bishop Kemme said. “We can look to him as our mighty God, who has each of us and the whole world in his hands. He is the reflection of the Father for us, one who loves us more than we can ever hope or imagine and wants to provide for us. He unfailingly provides for us by giving of himself for our spiritual food.”
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, gives peace to a world unable to provide, a peace from living in harmony with God, he said, a peace that spills into families and friends. “His is a peace that that will enable us to persevere through any danger and time of turmoil. In him we are members of a kingdom that will find its fulfillment, not here, but in heaven, for his kingdom is a kingdom of eternal light and peace.”
Bishop Kemme began his homily by explaining that the messianic titles proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah – Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father Forever, Prince of Peace – are often overlooked.
Beyond our understanding
Wonder Counselor evokes a sense of wonder beyond our usual understanding, he said, but one of being incomprehensible, beyond our limited understanding.
“In this child, something beyond our ability to understand is happening, something that should leave us full of awe,” Bishop Kemme said. “The title counselor signals a wisdom from above; the child given to us possesses an excellent and divine wisdom. He is given to us as our trusted guide, as one who listens to the stirrings of each of our hearts and has our best interests always close to his heart.”
The title God-Hero refers to Jesus, not as a mere human, but the savior promised from the beginning, he said. “We all need a hero to look up to and to help us in time of need and the church offers us the best hero of all time, Jesus of Nazareth. Another translation is mighty God. Our God is no weak, frail, and cowardly god but one who is strong, courageous, and decisive.”
Jesus is the Son but is also called Father-forever, the bishop said, adding that Isaiah is teaching that Jesus is the father of the nation and that his is an eternal fatherhood.
“Much like earthly kings and queens are often referred to as father and mother of the nation, so too is the Messiah King, the Christ, anointed as Father, who has been appointed to protect and to provide for the children of his family. Without confusing the persons of the Trinity, let us call Jesus, the perfect reflection of the Father, our Father-Forever.”
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Bishop Kemme said, but a peace deeper and more lasting than a sense of serenity and calm. “It is being in harmony with God and with each other,” he said. “This is the peace that only Jesus can give. It is what we extended to each other at the beginning of this Solemn Mass. Peace be with you! This is the peace we long for, hope for, and desire.”
The bishop closed his homily by urging the faithful to go to the manger to find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. “Let us declare him and him alone to be our Wonder Counselor, God Hero, Father Forever, and Prince of Peace, in whom is all our hope.”