Today we contemplate the mysteries of the Crèche. Usually, however, we stop at one dimension - joy, peace, hope, beauty, purity, innocence. And this is natural, because it is holy and we turn our thoughts to images of childhood, the love of mother and father. We associate with that which is most beautiful - with purity, innocence, sense of security.
But there is another side of this mystery. Less joyful. The birth of Jesus is also a rejection, incomprehension, poverty, humility, loneliness and suffering. The cross.
In Bethlehem, Jesus experienced the "dark side" of human nature - comes "to his own" (Jn 1, 11) and is rejected.
Today, as every year brings us a sign, a Child in the arms of the Mother. A baby, we know is small, fragile, helpless, totally dependent on others and incapable of life itself.
And so is God in Bethlehem. Limitless, the Almighty, the One who "fascinates and arouses fear" comes in the simplest and most humble character. God comes to earth in such an ordinary way in such humility that a person simply does not notice.
Jesus rejects Herod and the royal court, and therefore the world of politics, rejecting the scribes, and the Jewish religious elite. In contrast, He takes the simple shepherds, the people despised by the "big world". He accepts the sages, wizards, and so the Gentiles are also treated with contempt by the followers of the God of Israel.
To really experience God we need humility. All the great saints and mystics who interacted every day with God were men of great humility.
The humble handmaid of the Lord was Mary. Mary was all for Jesus and lived in His shadow. St. Luke writes that, through all the secrets she participated,in her heart, pondering them, meditate on them.
An equally humble man was St. Joseph. Holy Scripture does not provide any thought, nor anywords of Joseph. Joseph is a man deeply silent and listens to God.
Following the simplicity and humility of the shepherds, and spontaneously bending his knees before the child lying in the manger. The humble were also wise. United in humility, coupled with wisdom and openness made them look for the Messiah, to recognize Him in the Child and bow to adore Him.
Today we contemplate Jesus in the manger. Like the shepherds, let us adore Him with joy and praise, or as Mary, kneeling in humility, silence, prayer.
Because - "God became man so that man might become God"