The Nativity

 

- by Sally.ofs , December 2016

 

In November, while driving along Mission Blvd, I saw that the leaves had changed color.  Some leaves were falling.  The nature reminds me the coming of Advent season.  The stores start displaying a variety of holiday gifts.  Among the festive décor, Nativity ornament is one of my favorite selections.

Around the year of 1223, in the village of Graccio in Italy, people who lived in that area loving of their worldly goods.  St. Francis of Assisi and his companion set up the first live nativity stage in a cave outside the village on Christmas Eve night.  St. Francis wanted to enkindle the heart of the people to adore our Little Lord Jesus. A wooded manger covered with hay was prepared, an ox and an ass were led to the cave.  The unique of living animals interestingly reflected Isaiah 1:3, “An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master’s manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood.”  

Captured by the beauty of the crib, St. Francis, in awe and speechless, couldn’t say “Jesus”, he called Him “the Babe of Bethlehem”.  As Philippians 4:4-5, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I shall say it again: rejoice!  Your kindness should be known to all.  The Lord is near.” – truly expresses the perpetual presence of our Lord.

A nativity scene, a crib or crèche, represents Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi Kings around our Child Divine.  The atmosphere of the Nativity scene echoes:

  • The Birth of Our Lord – in holiness, humbleness, closeness, simplicity and majesty   

  • Jesus' Incarnation and made man – a great witness of mercy

  • Jesus’ salvific mission – God comes to us to reconcile

  • Jesus, the Face of Mercy [MV1] – whoever sees Jesus, sees the Father's Mercy

Additionally, let us show piety and praise Him when we come to our Nativity scene. Honor the mercy of God in our heart.  Share and offer the mercy of God to one another.  

May the beauty of Nativity fills your home with Peace and Joy.  

Reference:

[MV] Misericordiae Vultus, The Face of Mercy by Pope Francis

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