In silence, you will find Him in the poor next door…
The feast of Christmas brings before our eyes the image of God as a child. How does this image become meaningful to us? God becomes a child. On the first Christmas day, this child was helpless, poor and crying with discomfort! Our Christian tradition tends to see in it a mystery: the infinite God in human form. The crib depicts the images of animals as company for this homeless outcast. There is a feeling of sympathy, even of pity for the poor, helpless child. God chose to be a child because any child is helpless. He/she needs the help of parents and other adults to live and survive. So, God wanted the support and love of humanity. More than being a child, He chose to be a poor child, with no proper place to be born for this King of Kings. He was born in a dirty and squalid manger as a stranger!
God comes to us in the form of a struggling humanity. He is faceless, helpless, bruised, unloved and longing to be cared for. Once we are able to reach out to the helpless, homeless, powerless, those suffering in pain, our lives become meaningful. Once we are able to share in the struggles of others, we become true shepherds. To put it in the words of Pope Francis: “An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice.” That is when we experience smell of divinity, the smell of grace! For, the First Shepherd was dirty as soon as He came to stay with us. He had the smell of squalid manger and animals around.
During this time of extraordinary disruption and anxiety the Apostolic Carmel Sisters and Staff are there to support you through prayer. May this Christmas help us to reach out to the lonely, the sick and the suffering who genuinely wait for our touch. I wish each one of you a Blessed and Joyful Christmas. May our Kingly Child in the manger touch us and bless the New Year 2021.
Sr. Joanita A.C.