And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, come let us adore Him…
Today we commemorate the birth of Jesus; today we adore him in the Eucharistic crib; today we rejoice at his birth in the heart of humanity; today we celebrate his birth in the soul of the cosmos.
He chose to be born in Bethlehem, in a stable, laid in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Why in Bethlehem? Because Bethlehem means “house of bread.” Jesus’ life from the very beginning of His earthly existence until the end was meant to be the Bread of life, nourishing the hunger of humanity. In Bethlehem being the city of king David, Jesus would become the New David shepherding the New People of God. This universal King did not come through a conquest but through the radical simplicity of being a tiny baby. He chose to be born in a stable, a place fit for the humble king. Whilst the people did not recognize Him, yet the animals did: “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib but Israel does not know, my people do not understand” (Is. 1:3). He was laid in a manger where the animals fed because one day He would become food to feed the hungry. That manger would serve as God’s cradle of the New Humanity. The creator of the universe was wrapped in swaddling clothes which represented the vulnerability of God as a newborn.
Who were God’s first guests? The poorest of the poor: Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. They were the very first ones who saw the face of God because they were simple, pure and humble.
There was the star which represented the cosmos paying homage to its creator and leading the wise men to encounter the divine.
These are the most powerful symbols of the first Christmas that continue to remind us of the radical meaning of God becoming a man. God’s magnificent design is both overpoweringly attractive and awe-inspiring that leads us to silence and adoration.
In Christmas God became a human pilgrim to journey with humanity in an attempt to bring men and women back home to God. Today God has become a child so that all of us may become children of God!