During the reign of Augustus Caesar, a worldwide census was carried out. Everyone went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2: 8-14).
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. (Luke 2: 15-16).
This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
Although he was rich, he became poor for us. “The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation in the abundance of goods. “Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.” (CCC 2547).
Jesus is the good news of happiness. What is happiness? Happiness is to be able to see Jesus our Savior even in a manger. It is to see Jesus and believe in him in our unfinished homes, leaky shelters, disease afflicted bodies, empty farms, stagnant business ventures, lost lobs, and reduced wages. For that, we should have faith just like our forefather Abraham.
Abraham left the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God had him move from there to this country. But he did not give him any of it as a heritage, not even a foot’s length. (Acts 7: 4-5). When his wife Sarah died, he had to buy a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver to bury her (Gen 23: 12-15). God promised Abraham that he would give the Promised Land as his possession and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child. (Acts 7: 5). By faith, he sojourned in the Promised Land (Heb 11: 9). For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb 11:10). But God gave something else also – a share in the eternal life for us and for them! The Word of God affirms it:
“Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” (Heb 11: 39-40). Oh, how wonderful it is! How blessed we are!
The birth of the Savior fundamentally points to eternal life. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Col 1:15). He is the one who brings us back, along with Abraham and the champions of the faith, the blessings we lost through sin.
Jesus is born not only in our poor families, but in all the poor living around us. We must be able to see Jesus in them. Jesus is born in those who lost everything and are living in the streets and in tents due to floods, tsunamis, storms, and wildfires. He is also born in those who stay at home due to illness and unable to afford treatments; who are unable to get married due to financial issues; there are many suffering from poverty around us. We must see Jesus there. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matt 25:40). He revealed himself to the poor first. So, let this Christmas lead us to the inns, the stables, the orphanages, the tents, to those in poverty and those who have lost everything!