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Of Choices Both Human and Divine

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

As a Christmas gift to myself, I have started rereading the Harry Potter novels of J.K. Rowling. I read them some years ago when I was still a high school English teacher out of curiosity, to learn how this woman could get children to read books that were hundreds of pages long and very short on illustrations. This time around I am reading them strictly for pleasure.

Towards the end of the second book in the series (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), we read a conversation between Harry and the headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore. Harry is concerned because he has learned that he has several talents that he shares with the arch evil wizard Voldemort. He remembers that when he first entered Hogwarts, the sorting hat wanted to place him in Slytherin, the house which had been the residence of Voldemort. He had fought the sorting hat on that decision and asked to be placed in a different house. He did not want to be associated with the dark wizard. Now he is beginning to wonder if that had been a mistake.

Professor Dumbledore counsels Harry by telling him that we are not judged by our talents. We are judged by our choices. It matters not that Harry's talents resemble the dark lord's; what matters is that Harry chose not to be associated with him.

We are judged by our choices, not by our abilities. The same can be said of God. Today we celebrate God's choice to become one of us, to be vested with human flesh, to experience life as we experience it, even to die as we will all die. God freely chooses this. Yes God is all powerful, omnipresent and omniscient. However, God's choice to be one of us is far more telling than any of these attributes. God's choice is that which defines God – God is Love incarnate.

May you know the many and varied blessings of Christmas, and may your New Year be filled with those same blessings.

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