We are finishing the Advent season and entering Christmas. If Advent was a time to prepare the rooms, by our ‘garage sale’ Christmas is a time to fill in with new gifts. We need to tune up our spiritual life at the beginning of this liturgical season as we tune up a guitar or replace our house roof. To begin anew we must throw off a few things in life.
Isaiah 1:3: “the cattle knows who owns them, and the donkeys know where the Master feeds them. But that is more than my people Israel know. They don’t understand at all.” Moved by these words St. Francis of Assisi built the first crib (Manger) in 1223. The context was that he went to Rome and returned to his hometown Assisi. It was the time church needed renewal. Instead of attacking or criticizing the Church, when he returned to Assisi, he wanted to present a scene where Jesus was alive. So, he sets real ox and ass and there were no statues but people themselves gathered around the manger lighting their torches. And thus, first crib came into existence.
In Christmas we renew our lives by making Jesus alive. In this special time of the year: the lights in the neighborhood, the cards, the gifts, the cookies, children’s excitements etc. are all to remind us of the newness and the gift of our savior.
Merry Christmas and God bless you all.
Fr. Wilson, TOR