Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Lesson of Bethlehem

Christmas for many is a joyous occasion but for others it can be a time of great loneliness. Please include in your prayers those who for one reason or another will be having a lonely Christmas.
Here is an excerpt from the late great Pope John Paul II

On this night let us therefore think of all the human beings that fall victim to man’s inhumanity, to cruelty, to the lack of any respect, to contempt for the objective rights of every human being. Let us think of those who are lonely, old, or sick; of the homeless, those suffering from hunger, and those whose misery is the result of the exploitation and injustice of the economic systems. Let us also think of those who on this night are not allowed to take part in the liturgy of God’s birth and who have no priest to celebrate Mass. And let us give a thought also to those whose souls and consciences are tormented no less than their faith.

The stable at Bethlehem is the first place for solidarity with man: for one man’s solidarity with another and for all men’s with all men, especially with those for whom there is ‘no room at the inn’ (cf. Lk 2:7), whose personal rights are refused recognition.

The newborn Infant is wailing.

Who hears the baby’s wail?

But heaven speaks for Him, and it is heaven that explains it with these words:

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy His favor" (Lk 2:14).

Touched by the fact of the birth of Jesus, we must hear this cry from heaven. That cry must reach all the ends of the earth, all men must hear it anew. A Son is given to us.Christ is born to us.