Recently, during my Holy hour when I first wake up in the morning, I read something through a new lens. This is the time that I spend orienting my day in prayer, God‘s word, and being attentive to my body.
We are told there is never enough. There’s never enough money, status, time, beauty, or life, and so the world sets us up to follow the gods of anxiety, the god of saving, the god of fear, and even the god of self-reliance. Holy Scripture tells us that we have a choice before us: live in prosperity or death and doom.
As we get ready for the birth of love itself in Jesus Christ, let us take the necessary steps to prepare our hearts and minds. What if we bring out the creche or nativity scene and place it where it can be seen and, if the moment is right, contemplated? What if, in the Spirit of the season, the creche characters began to talk? What if they asked us questions to bring home our faith, to encourage us into gratitude and commitment? How would we answer?
I am the Father of the Child.
My Son is too young to speak.
So I will say a few words
to help you place him
at the center of your crèche
and, as you do it, allow him
to place himself in the center of you.
How many have I courted seekers
in dreams and deserts
only to be forgotten
in the demands of day?
They put me on a throne,
so you must kneel.
They say I withhold blessings,
so you must beg.
They claim I punish,
so you must be afraid.
Then my Son came out of the water
and swallowed my Word from the sky.
The dove of love descended
and my pleasure ran through him.
He never looked back,
but looked everywhere else
and saw what no one else did.
When people cried from the crowd,
When people hid in their sin,
When people lost their way,
When people were shunned,
he reached out.
When people were in pain, he touched.
When people did not understand, he explained.
He gave himself away like one who lays
in the feeding trough of the manger
as food for every hunger.
He knows Me well.
Yet no one could thin a crowd like my Son.
His parables were mirrors.
People saw themselves and did not like what they saw.
His actions were scandalous attacks
on the conventions of separateness.
His arguments silenced adversaries.
The cry of the child in the manger
became the voice of the prophet.
My word of mercy was never so strong, yet never so rejected.
My word of love was never so perseverant,
yet never so avoided.
Of course, they came for him with clubs and swords and lies
and he met them with Me.
I was always his welcome
for those who do not know,
drawing light from their darkness,
life from their death.
In him, I Am Who I Am.
You see, he is Me among you.
So my question to you will be no surprise.
How do you listen my Son?
The perspective of the Child was originally published on December 24, 2019, written by author and theologian John “Jack” Shea for Catholic Extension. Smitten With Goodness exists to shine a light on goodness. The presence of the Catholic Church is a guiding light in many places darkened by poverty and conflict. Catholic Extension uplifts faith communities and supports individuals who bring the light of Christ to the most forgotten areas of our country, and you can support their mission here.