Nabi Sayeth: The Feast of Christmas can be a most humbling feast, especially when one takes the time to truly “look” inside the manger.
My heart is saddened as I wonder if those who committed acts of sexual abuse or covered up for those who did ever truly looked at the face of the Baby in the manger? With the many Christmas masses said by the McCarricks, the Bransfields, the Wuerls and others through the years….did they ever truly look inside the manger and ponder the face of the Baby?
What would they have seen had they looked, really looked, and paused and took the time to reflect? If they had, would they not have seen…
-the lowliness of His surroundings...no butlers or chefs, instead a few animals big and small...a Mother and her husband lowly and loving with eyes opened to the mystery of it all...
-the sweetness and innocence and purity of a new life whose heart would never know hatred, vicious anger, jealousy, envy, lust or false pride….
-the simplicity...never a need for titles, climbing ecclesiastical ladders with visions of grandeur, wealth, beach houses, sunken bars, mansions…..
-perhaps they would have pondered the dependency of the baby on the care and protection needed from others…
How could the sight of a baby, a toddler, a child, or a teen with the fullness of life ahead of them not evoke feelings of love and compassion from them? How could any adult, especially a tenured ecclesiastic, not be willing to risk life or limb to protect an innocent human life at the earliest of stages?
Perhaps they were too focused on the non-essential externals of the great Feast….
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor preparing himself spiritually before his execution by the nazis wrote the following….
The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
Nabi Sayeth: One deep, prayerful look at the Baby in the manger should call us all to humility, gratitude and all things holy….if only we would take the time to look….