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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Being there

When we contemplate the birth of the Infant Jesus, St. Ignatius suggests that we place ourselves in the stable and see and hear what is happening. Maybe we are a servant that left the Inn where there was no room to show them this poor place that at least gave them the same shelter as the animals. Let your imagination be free to see, to listen, perhaps even to hold the baby....

Now, imagine that you are with some newly arrived refugees and one young couple seems preoccupied with more than just getting in line for something to eat. She is expecting a child and needs a place to be out of this noisy, desperate crowd who are fleeing for their lives. This woman is peaceful but you see at once that she must get off her feet and have some privacy. What do you do? She is a stranger and has no identity papers. What is going to happen to her? The border is closed and she is stranded; there is no room for them. Do you also turn away?

The first Christmas has many lessons to teach us as we reflect why Jesus came into the world where there was no room for him and chose to be born in poverty, in a stable open to all to come and gaze.
I will be in California by the time this blog appears. Please pray for the retreat January 2-9 in Santa Cruz. I will write after the retreat so Happy New Year!

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