Feast of the Holy Family ~Merry Christmas, Day 3



Image credit:  The Holy Family, 1651, Jacques Stella, shamelessly pinched from J.R.'s art place 

I don't recall ever running across this one before last week and I love all the details in it: toddler Jesus doing that thing toddlers do with their mom's faces; Mary's bare feet; Joseph with his legs crossed (don't think I've ever seen that) and apparently doing the laundry? (Now we know he is a just man!)  And an angel makes dinner. Because, truly, when you are the parents of toddlers, anyone who cooks dinner for you is an angel. 

On another note:  Emily Dickinson made into the pope's homily for Midnight Mass on Friday. He makes several lovely points, particularly at the end, but I have the tiniest quibble about this section in the middle: 

To us a son is given.  In the lowly manger of a darkened stable, the Son of God is truly present.  But this raises yet another question.  Why was he born at night, without decent accommodation, in poverty and rejection, when he deserved to be born as the greatest of kings in the finest of palaces?  Why?  To make us understand the immensity of his love for our human condition: even to touching the depths of our poverty with his concrete love.  The Son of God was born an outcast, in order to tell us that every outcast is a child of God.  He came into the world as each child comes into the world, weak and vulnerable, so that we can learn to accept our weaknesses with tender love.  And to discover something important: as he did in Bethlehem, so too with us, God loves to work wonders through our poverty.  He placed the whole of our salvation in the manger of a stable.  He is unafraid of our poverty, so let us allow his mercy to transform it completely!
God does love to work wonders through our poverty. But I'm not certain about the concept of "decent accommodation" for the only begotten Son of God. Compared with His glory, what earthly accommodation would not be so much straw by comparison? I suspect the difference between the sultan's palace and the cave in Bethlehem is great only to us, and not so great to Him. And therefore his coming in lowly estate has more to do with casting the mighty from their thrones. Perhaps it has also to do with preserving our freedom. You have to look for God. He doesn't impose himself.