St. Mary of
“Everything works together to deepen the mystery of this new presence in the solitude of
Christmas night, making it more intimate, more divine. Joseph and Mary's outward poverty is, as it were, the guardian of this
mystery. If Joseph and Mary had looked like they were rich, people would have made room for them in the inn because of Mary's
condition. They would have turned out other less important guests; they would have found a way to keep them and the mystery
of the birth of Jesus would no longer have this solitude and silence. It would have happened in the midst of noise. This is
not the way in which God visits our earth! On the contrary, poverty must prepare the way and push aside all those who seek
only earthly possessions, all those who think only of settling on earth.”
This reflection of father Philippe from the Order of Preachers, made me think about the event
we are celebrating on this night. Mary and Joseph are immigrants in their own land because of their poverty. They don’t
find a place to rest because the city has received a lot of visitors who came to fulfill the emperor’s census. Perhaps,
if they would have enough money, they would have made a reservation in a fancy inn. They don’t have money. Mary feels
bad, the baby is coming. Can you imagine the thoughts of Joseph? His desperation and anguish before this situation. At the
end they find this cave that shepherds use to protect their flocks. The baby was born and all fear has disappeared and miraculous
events happened on that night.
The lesson is very clear. The Son of God was born in a humble cave not by coincidence but for
a divine design. Two thousand years after we still have not learned the lesson and Christians from all latitudes in the world
like to admire the poor manger but continue to fight for the best positions in society. Selfishness and pride could be the
most common attitudes in our still majority Christian country.
When I was studying theology at the Pontifical University of Mexico City I had a classmate and
good friend very rich. Someday, I asked him this question: “what your wealthy friends think about all the poverty and
misery of millions of people around them? He answered, “my friends think that they deserve the wealth they inherit because
their grandparents and parents worked hard and the parents of the poor people were lazy”.
My mother used to say that we all are immigrants of this world because our time in this life
is so brief that we must use every second of our lives to make our lives worth to the eyes of God. My friends, tonight I invite
you not only to contemplate the manger but being part of it. Being part of the Christ who is poor, who is immigrant, who is
homeless, who is hungry, who is unemployed, who is racially marginalized; who is sick, who is abandoned and alone. Tonight
we are part of the holy family on their journey.