Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Midnight

Luc 2:1-14

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Becky Spires

Published: December 24, 2017

It's Christmas. Once again we are delighted and amazed by this God who comes to be one of us:  The Father who gave his son, the Spirit who came upon Mary, the Son who is the divine face of humanity and the human face of God. The great light has reached our darkness. He is the Admirable Counselor, the strong God, the Father of future times, the Prince of peace. And he is in our midst. He comes, yes, but he is already among us, now and forever. There is no way you can understand that. It's too big. Maybe that's why he comes a baby, so we can take him in our arms, sing to him, take care of him. That way, what does not enter the head invades the heart and there is an understanding that far surpasses reasoning.

However, "... there was no place for them in the inn." That hurts. What?  No place?! This is impossible!  And then, my sisters, we look at our world today with thousands of refugees from wars and conflicts, with millions of people, entire families, living on the street, in the parks, without shelter, without a home. There is no place for them. The ranchers, loggers, agribusiness, mining, hydroelectric dams, railroads, highways, all are driving people out of their land, their home. Hundreds of families were violently forced out of their homes from a land in Para the week just before Christmas. Since October, 150 indigenous people fleeing poverty in Venezuela wander the streets of Belem begging and there are reports of hundreds more 100 on their way here. And how many more in Haiti, Syria, Korea… on all continents.    Humanity is in constant movement because "there is no place for them".  And whoever is in constant movement, whoever has no place, is hungry: hungry every day because there is never enough food. Constant hunger leaves one weak and prone to illness. Hunger hurts, and sometimes to forget this pain they use drugs. Crack is cheaper than bread. Who is always on the move, who has no place, is dirty, smells bad, has no bathroom or water. And if they get water there is no soap.

Our nativity scenes are so beautiful and cozy, but remember that in Bethlehem that night of the first Christmas it was cold, smelling bad and lacking hygienic conditions. What made this not only bearable, but a place of happiness, tenderness, light and peace, was precisely love. The love of Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the angels, the stars, the Father and the Spirit. Love, Jesus, made that the most beautiful place in the world, the happiest, the best.

So, let's plant love in our world, let's love the wanderers and those who have no place; loving with acts and hugs, with words of tenderness and affection, with clothes and food. If we do not have a home for everyone, we can make their piece of street or field a place full of love and light and peace.

The Son of God left his comfort zone and became Jesus, came to earth for us. Let's get out of our comfort zone and embrace him in our suffering brothers. He is in our midst. We will not let him remain invisible.



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