December 31, 2009

The Humility of Christ

Christmas is far from over, friends. The Church gives us a Christmas season to reflect on the meaning of Christ's birth, lasting through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 10. Let's take advantage of the continuation of Christmas and reflect, as we move into a new calendar year, on the humility of the newborn Jesus.

The Scriptural and historical evidence places Jesus' birth in the little town of Bethlehem (as the song goes) (O'Connor, 1984). How little a town? At the time, Bethlehem probably had two or three hundred occupants. Jerusalem, in contrast, was home to tens of thousands (Pacwa, 2000). Bethlehem was a hundred times smaller. And into this tiny town came not a full-grown man, like the Greek goddess Athena bursting from her father's head in full armor. No, God came as a little baby to the little town of Bethlehem.

That swaddled baby could not move on His own. He was entirely in Mary's care. She placed Him in the manger. She presented Him to the shepherds and wise men that came to worship the King (Luke 2:8-20).

This is the same God that humbles Himself to become what appears to be a little piece of bread. Like the infant Jesus, the Eucharist is moved by other hands. He is placed before us by human hands as sacrificial lamb, as our spiritual food.

Our God is a creative and witty author, as well. This, too, is why Jesus was born in bethel yehem - the "house of bread". This is why He was carried into a stable like a lamb and laid in a trough like a meal.

As you start a new year, find a place in your life where God does not dwell. Find the place where your pride still rules, where you call the shots instead of God. [2113] If we are to be Christians - followers of Christ - then we must follow His example. Put yourself into another's hands - into the hands of God and into the hands of His One Church [813-822, 2032] - and trust. Today, commit one more part of your life to God's care, saying in faith Thy will be done.

O' Connor, James. 1984 The father's son. Boston: St. Paul Books and Media.
Pacwa, Mitch. When Jesus was born. Catholic Answers. http://www.catholic.com/radio/event.php?calendar=1&category=0&event=1543&date=2000-12-22 (accessed Dec 30, 2009).

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