Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Stafford recommended reading Pope Benedict's XVI homily for Christmas Midnight mass. He was right. The homily is a beautiful theological study of the Nativity. His main theme is that God became small for us. He humbled Himself so we could understand Him. This post will not do justice to the Pope's homily. I highly recommend you read the whole thing, but here are a few gems:

God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us...The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of l ove, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life.

It seems the Pope and John Betjeman (see the previous post) both find a strong link between the Nativity and the Eucharist:

Thus, for the Fathers, the manger of the animals became the symbol of the altar, on which lies the Bread which is Christ himself: the true food for our hearts. Once again we see how he became small: in the humble appearance of the host, in a small piece of bread, he gives us himself.

God became small to reveal Himself to us. He became small so that we could understand Him with our minds and love Him with our whole hearts (ibid). He became small to set an example for us to follow. We are called to become small, to humble ourselves in service and sacrifice. We are called to become small in the obedience of faith. We are called to give of ourselves like God gave of Himself. During the Octave of Christmas, let us pray for the grace to follow Christ's example.

Blessings on this Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.


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