In this season of Advent, we are in the midst of that wait to celebrate the memorial of that unique and unrepeatable event in history when God became man in the baby Jesus! The Virgin Mary is the one who was the first to await the great revelation of Jesus Christ and therefore she is also an icon, an image of the Church that awaits the fulfilment of Jesus Christ’s life.
Let us allow ourselves to reflect on St John’s Gospel: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” (Jn 1:14) His presence already started when God came to live amongst us. God is not a concept to understand, God presented Himself as a Child and He lived our lives. Mary was called to contemplate the glory of God in a Child and that Child was entrusted into Joseph’s care. The shepherds contemplated the Son of God in difficult conditions as a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes. Everyone is born and has a mother and God came into our daily circumstances. The God that had created the galaxy and the universe made Himself a small Child so that we can come to meet Him. In this Child we can see Divine Glory: “the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)
We speak of glory and not of splendour because in Hebrew glory is translated as kabod, which means “the weight of a thing” or its “authentic value” and so through these words we know the value of God’s gift to humanity. It is the gift of Himself, God made man, which really means that He is willing to take a risk with us and therefore shows man’s importance to God.
In the baby Jesus, we can see God who is totally donated to humanity. He is placed in a manger and He is not presented as a God that makes us slaves but, rather, He offers himself as bread to feed us. The beautiful relic of the manger in St Mary Majors Basilica, Rome, helps us to understand this mystery. The reliquary conserves the wood of the manger in Bethlehem from the first century that was the Lord’s actual manger. It is placed below the main altar and we see the baby Jesus lying on top of the reliquary indicating the altar above with His finger as if to say: “you will meet me in the Eucharist, eat my Body so I can live in you.”
We hope that this Christmas will bring you the greatest gift: the discovery of God’s love and His sweet friendship.
Have a happy and Holy Christmas. With much love!
God Bless Us
And The Virgin Protect Us
m. Rebecca and the Missionaries of Divine Revelation