When we consider who are heroes are, we might want to add this person into the mix. My hope and prayer is that you have a blessed and bountiful Christmas season and a wonderful new year.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Throughout the history of war there have been instances of heroism, moments when someone took a blade or a bullet for a fellow warrior. There were men who willingly threw themselves on a grenade, who stayed behind to buy time for their comrades, who sacrificed themselves for another or for many. They are defenders of human rights, at home or abroad. Sometimes the people they are defending are openly hostile toward them.
We honor these warriors and hold them in high accord. We pay them tribute and memorialize them in stone and bronze and steel. The Medal of Honor has been awarded since the U.S. Civil War and include men of every ethnic background and even a few unknown soldiers. Sixteen Medals of Honor were awarded in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars alone. Many more throughout history.
There are public servants like firefighters and police officers. There are ordinary citizens that spring into action when needed at the scene of an accident, during the commission of a crime or anytime extraordinary circumstances present themselves. These nobodies, without a thought, act unselfishly.
Others give up their comfortable lives to live in poverty as volunteers among the disenfranchised, the poor, the sick and those who are held hostage by political systems that do not recognize their rights. There are physicians, engineers, teachers, priests, farmers, nutritionists…the list is nearly endless.
So, if this is our standard, where do we place Christ?
Like many, he left his home to come here to live among us. He lived obediently under the watchful eye of his mother and stepfather, an ordinary life, a nobody from a small town in the middle of nowhere. He taught, counseled, healed, and brought people of different faiths and different points of view together. He stood his ground against injustice, fed those who were hungry and comforted those in sorrow. He forgave those who wronged him and took in those society had abandoned; the illiterate, prostitutes, tax collectors, the sick, lame and ridiculed.
This warrior traded his life for the lives of each and every one of us. And he did it knowing all his life what his fate would be. Christ, the redeemer. Christ the anointed one. Christ the healer, the physician, the savior. Christ the hero. He sacrificed himself for us, obediently accepting the cross so that the stain of sin could be removed.
This Christmas, be a warrior for Christ. Emulate him in your generosity, in your counsel, your fight for justice, your acceptance and your forgiveness. We are created in God’s image, and he is with us in Christ, Emmanuel. Have a blessed and holy Christmas.-Jose Antonio Ponce
Copyright 2022 by Jose Antonio Ponce