Sunday, December 24, 2017



In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn….{Lk. 2: 1, 4-7} In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it……And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us….{Jn. 1:1-5 & 14}

St. Luke gives the name of the place, how it came to be, that Mary and Joseph found shelter in a cave where Jesus is born and laid in a manger.

St. John notes further that Jesus makes His dwelling among us.

St. John Chrysostom in a Christmas homily calls us to: Behold a new and wonderous mystery.

How then do we behold this new, wonderous mystery of where, why is Christ born?

By going into the depths, as swimming deep in the ocean, way below the surface, where rays of sunlight still penetrate and where, in a sense, we are both in the living waters and bathed in light.

His dwelling among us is more, much more, than ‘among us’ as we are among others on a crowded train, busy street.

Sunlight penetrates skin, air permeates our lungs and blood.

It is in this permeating, indwelling sense that Christ IS born among us.

Mary, Joseph, and the newborn Jesus, were homeless, forced from their home and town by government edit.

Jesus is born among, and within the manger-heart of every human person, be it during war, ethic cleansing, famine, or other disaster, who is forcibly uprooted and rendered homeless or in a refugee camp.

In His life among us He experiences hard work, poverty, calumny, rejection, betrayal, false accusation, hunger, thirst, such extreme mental anguish He sheds blood, experiences abuse, torture, execution, burial.

Therefore, He is born within the manger-heart of everyone who is bullied, lied about, rejected for whatever reason, of each person who is exhausted by hard work, including those in consecration and labour camps, forced as children to work as slaves or child soldiers; He is born within the manger-heart of every abused woman, man, child, within those hidden places of human suffering in isolation cells, mental health wards, ICU’s and hospices, prison cells, the deep loneliness of orphanages, old age homes, the dank, dark dangerous alleys where hearts painfully beat under cardboard boxes, in the cold, there, there He is excited to be born.

The manger-hearts of those suffering mental illness alone, perhaps in denial, addictions of all sorts or having to sell themselves to have food or the illusory comfort of some momentary connection; in the always at risk manger-hearts of the watchmen in the military, police forces, fire departments, ambulance services: here too He is passionate to be born.

There is no condition of any human heart, no place on earth, where He is not amongst us as surely as Our Lady places Him in the manger and St. Joseph watches over Him.

The human heart: this IS where Christ is born.

O ineffable grace. The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages…..has now put on my body…..that I may be capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares me for the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me. {St. John Chrysostom}

No comments: