by Catherine Doherty.
Where was Christ born? In a quiet, dry cave, of which there are so many in the Holy Land, and which probably was close to an inn. That is where God was born.
Many miracles attended his birth, but eventually, in utter simplicity and humility, wrapped in the cloak of his mother, who was sitting on a donkey, and followed by St. Joseph, Jesus made the slow journey back to Nazareth, back to the home they had left, after being registered at the bidding of a nation that then ruled the world.
Many years later, the Child who had been born in a cave went about doing good and preaching what he called the Good News—that the kingdom was at hand, and that to become a member of this kingdom, all a person had to do was to love God and to love his neighbor as himself.
He who is Love wanted all people to know they belonged to God, the God born in a cave.
He went on to speak of loving enemies, and of the greatest love of all—to lay down one’s life for a friend. The message was simple. St. Paul, one of his apostles, has said:
If your life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness or sympathy, then be united in your conviction and united in your love, in a common purpose and a common mind.
This is the one thing that would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider everybody better than yourself, so that no one thinks of his own interests first, but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead. (Phil. 2:1–4)
Christmas is with us again. The words of Christ are clear.
So are the words of St. Paul. May your Christmas be full of love for one another. Then it will be merry.
—Excerpted from Donkey Bells, (2000), p. 35-36, available from MH Publications
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