22. Look at the whole of Christ's life

You looked at the workshop of the Carpenter, admiring the beauty that always results from the efforts of work that is well done. For even if the worker is poor and lowly, he has the pride of doing something to earn his daily bread.

You looked at Christ as he went from place to place healing and blessing, and it made you want to go and do likewise. You wanted to reproduce his gestures in every corner of the world and to be a true apostle. In his work the apostle is often rewarded for his efforts. He finds great joy when he senses among those he meets the beginning of true understanding and acceptance.

And with all this you forgot to look lovingly enough at the whole of Christ’s life, which began in a manger. He was a little infant like any other with nothing unusual about him, just a little infant like you yourself were, without much charm those first hours and first days. He became a tiny baby crying from the cold as he lay there on the straw in a state of total helplessness which he took on out of love.

That is how our God first appeared, and he wants to be contemplated and adored in this state not only by the lowly but also by the great, for he accepted the adoration of both shepherds and wise-men, and even led them by a star into the presence of this little baby without grandeur or majesty.

It is true that you will not be able to understand him unless you have the eyes and the heart of a child. But it is too easy to forget that this state of spiritual childhood is not reserved for only a few people. Spiritual childhood has become an obligation ever since our Lord took a little child by the hand, put him in the midst of the grown men who were arguing over who would have the first place and who were dreaming of an earthly kingdom, telling them,

“If you do not become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3).