Reflection by Mary E. Latela, December 25, 2016
Christmas is full of paradoxes. A baby is born of a poor couple, far from home,
in the bustle of a registration or census.
Bethlehem is the city of the family of Joseph, a carpenter, and his espoused is
Mary, pregnant with child.
In ordinary times, she would give birth at home, surrounded by her mother and aunts, her brothers and uncles seeing to the fire and water, walking, walking, breathing in this miracle, filling their lungs, emptying them to catch the breath of God.
When the time is right, the baby is borne, and Mary and Joseph, huddled in a shed –
because the inn has not room for them, are filled with intense love, passion, unity, wholeness, oneness. The “holy family” is not closed to visitors; they are open still to you and me.
The children are fascinated with the statues. Hannah asks, “Is this Mama Mary?” and hugs the angel form. And baby Jesus is brought out for a moment, otherwise hidden in the closet until Christmas morning. Joseph looks tall and powerful to children, though he is carrying the power of the whole world in his arms. Even the cows, the sheep, move in close. They are named. Young shepherds hush one another at the sight. The sky opens up to the power of the wind and the warmth, God’s protection of all Creation.
A Child is Born in Bethlehem, Alleluia!