My dear friends, tonight, lets us go back with our minds to that night, a little over two thousand years ago, when The Virgin Mary, and her Husband the chaste Joseph, where looking for shelter.
Imagine this little town, in the middle of Palestine, crowded with people, where most of them lived perhaps, in what we would consider poverty.
A young maiden, whose Hebrew name was Miriam, which we pronounce Mary, and her husband Joseph, are going around asking people for a place to stay.
If you were to see them, they would appear to you to be people without importance. They seem to be poor, and uninteresting.
Only while speaking to them you would realize, the very special way of their words, their actions, their manner of talking and walking. You would see in them a certain majesty, gravity and holiness.
Both of them, were totally immersed in God, and in doing God’s will. They were perfect instruments of God, with no complaint. At all times, all that moved them was what God wanted them to do.
And yet, as any human being, they also experienced anguish, and worry, Joseph worried about providing the best possible for his wife, The Virgin Mary worried to provide for her Divine Child, and they both worried to alleviate as much as possible one another.
As they went through all these things, their souls where also being prepared by God to receive great graces that night. Their mind was more and more being filled by God, their spirits where humbled more and more, and love kept growing in them.
Weary, tired and rejected, they finally headed to the outskirts of the town, where they found the only place available for them. A Cave, so small, that one could not walk in there without crouching. Dark, and lonely, where only beasts, oxen and donkeys where to be found.
They walked into it, to take shelter from the night, and as they sat there, perhaps knelt for a few minutes, their minds where astonished and taught, by the great mystery of the place that God had led them to. A place miserable, poor, wet, cold, humid, dark, lonely and with nothing.
It was the contrast that God would show to them constantly: God was to be found, there where the world had nothing.
In that dark Cave, the young Virgin knelt down to pray, as so did Joseph.
Her soul started to be flooded by grace and love, and by the presence of God, in the same way that the waters in a flash flood fill a creek, and drag out of it everything in their path, in the same way In her soul, prayer, and the presence and majesty and mercy of God, began overwhelming her, to such a degree, that even her soul, that was more capable than all of the seraphim together, became incapable of such mysteries, and lost track of time, and space, only to focus on the Most Holy Trinity, and particularly in the Second person, God the Son, the perfect Image, Word and way to the Father.
And as her soul was immersed in God, the baby that laid in her womb, passed by his own will into her arms. There was no pain, no movement, no effort, and no violence. Her body remained untouched, as the window remains unbroken by the light that goes through it. The golden vase that had contained God within, remained unmoved, more pure, more chaste, more immaculate than ever, sealed now for all eternity, that where God had been, nothing else could ever claim.
What wonder that the maker of all nature could change the laws of nature? What wonder that God would put as a witness, of the divinity of this child, the Virginity of His Mother? Do you not believe, perhaps, because there were no witnesses? What about the men that watched this child later on walk on the waters? What about the men that saw him come into the house while all the doors and windows were shut? What about the soldiers that saw the sepulcher empty, without ever having seen him walk out of it? What wonder is it, that He would be born miraculously, whose whole existence was a miracle?
This baby alone, was born because he willed to be born, in the same way that he died because he willed to die. In him alone, the words cannot fit. Because of all children we say they were born. Of him it should be said, if the verb existed, that he “borned” himself.
In The Virgin Mary’s arms, for the first time was present God, in a visible form. God made man. His mind could understand everything, but he refused to speak, but behaved like a child. He who was controlling the whole universe, had his hands wrapped, like any other child. He who cleansed the souls of sinners by the look of his eyes, was subjects to the accidents and humiliations of human nature, like any other child.
My dear friends, this is not a story, it is a reality and a historical fact. God came to this world, he became visible to us, and walked among us. Men saw him and conversed with Him, and we believe what we believe, not become someone sat down to write a story, but because men whom we know, knew other men, who knew other men, who knew him, and spoke with him. We believe because there was an uninterrupted chain of witnesses, who have passed this truth to us, from generation to generation.
As Mary and Joseph knelt down, and laid the child, mysteriously, in a manger, following the inspiration of God’s will, All of history changed, all of time changed.
The years would know be counted by his birth, eventually in the whole world. All of men would hear of him, more than of anyone else. There would never be a just law that was not in accordance with his teachings, and all evil would always be foreign to him. In the world there would never be any other worthy master, or prophet, or king, but only in as much as he would be related to him. And men and women, all of creatures, will inevitably go to him, either to be judged, or to be forgiven, but this child will now be, for all eternity, the center of the universe.
And for us, He will remain, for all eternity, the proof of the love of God.
My dear friends: If you have ever wondered what is God like, and if God loves you, tonight is the night to ask this question.
Would you ever love anyone so much, as to deprive yourself of everything, of money, of cars, of house, of bed, of food, of a place to lay down and rest your head, just to be with that person?
Have you ever loved anyone so much, as to abandon every single person you care for, your Mother and Father, your friends and Brothers, your children even, to be left alone, only to be with that person?
Would you ever love anyone so much, as to leave behind a life of comfort and rest, and riches, to pursue a life of misery, work, torture and pain, even to the very end of your days, to die in agony despair and unimaginable sadness, just to be with that person?
Would you ever love anyone, to the extent of renouncing your own nature, and cease enjoying the dignity of the human life, to become an animal, or something of a lower nature, just to be able to love that person?
My dear soul, this is the love that the Son of God had for you on this night.
Christ was born, Jesus is born, all, for the sole purpose, of being able to love you.
As we leave the Holy Virgin, and her husband in respectful silence and adoration, I leave you too, in silence and contemplation of these mysteries. Because words cannot express what has happened tonight. They lead the soul, but cannot give it, what only the light of Christ can give, words fall short, of this blessed and most Divine, and incomprehensible truth:
The Word of God was made flesh, and He inhabited in us. In Nomine Patris…
Dear Fr. Zepeda.
Thank you for this article. I especially loved how you explained the birth and related it to the sun shinning through a window.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May Our Lady Bless you and your work.
The example of the light going through a window comes from the Holy Fathers of the Church. Who exactly said it, escapes my mind, but it’s a beautiful image used by our Forefathers in the faith.
God Bless you!