A Child in the Crib


I remember as a young child that on Christmas morning, no matter how early I woke up, the beautiful Nativity scene on the bookcase in the living room always had a new look. The figure of the Child Jesus was now in the crib; before that morning, the crib was empty. My father, who for many years did a Holy Hour in the middle of the night once a month with the Nocturnal  Adoration Society of the parish, told me when I was older that he used to awaken after midnight every year to place the Christ Child in the manger.

It is always the humble and poor who are invited first to adore the presence of divine humility in the birth of Jesus in  Bethlehem. The shepherds, not kings, received the first glad tidings in the fields and went in haste to prostrate themselves in joyous faith before the God-Child in a Virgin Mother’s arms. Christmas is a feast full of fond childhood memories, of song and bright color and family love. But it is sacred and inspiring in the present hour of our Faith because, awesomely, God has  taken our flesh in a baby. The Virgin Mary lifts that beautiful Child into our poor arms to be embraced in love. In receiving him at Mass, let us tell him of our great love.