24. Like all the babies of the world

This Crib is something so beautiful and so great. This Crib of Bethlehem contains the whole Christ, God and man together, and in the extension of this cradle there is the Workshop of Nazareth, the Passion and the Cross, and all the Glory of the Resurrection and Heaven itself.

In his great love, Christ, the Son of God, chose to pass through a little infant’s helplessness, the only state in which someone is totally given over into the hands of another.

Because he is so helpless, a little child always turns toward his father. He is too weak and too little to have a will of his own or to want anything that his father dies not want. How touching is this trust in his father. Have you ever seen that often repeated gesture of a young father pretending to toss his little child out over a cliff? And the child laughs and laughs because he knows well that no harm can ever come to him from his father.

Like all babies of the world, Christ the workman, Christ of the Passion, Christ glorious in his Resurrection, needed the tender watchfulness of the Virgin Mary by his cradle. He needed the fatherly care of St. Joseph who guided his first steps, and most of all he needed the love of his Father in heaven to whom he was obedient from his birth in the crib to his death on the cross.

Look at the Crib and do not be put off by the childish ways it is sometimes pictured. That is just the price we have to pay when trying to represent divine realities.  Instead may you see in this Crib only your God who is calling to you to follow him, and to become as a little child in total self-surrender. Like him may you have toward God a child’s trustfulness.  Like him may you have toward the Virgin Mary his Mother the same pressing need and loving self-surrender of a child who cannot do without a mother at his cradle. How sad to see a cradle without a mother to bend over it.