There was a lovely and poignant story that appeared toward the end of November some years ago as Churches around the country prepared to celebrate the Advent Season. José Moran, a janitor at Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hills, in Queens, New York had just completed setting up the traditional manger scene in the Church – if I might add a personal liturgical opinion at this point – a bit early for my taste! Shortly afterward, as he was doing his usual cleaning of the Church in anticipation of the weekend masses, he heard the sound of a crying child coming from the direction of the Nativity. As he neared the Nativity display, there, lying in the manger was a newborn child with his umbilical cord still attached. He ran to the rectory to notify the priest, Fr. Christopher, a recently ordained priest. Both of them immediately attended to the needs of this tiny child, wrapping him carefully in a small towel as they notified authorities. Upon investigation, it appears that this little fellow was apparently abandoned by his mother who desperately wanted a home for a child she could not care for. Fr. Christopher, said, "God has a way of working mysteriously because I believe when this woman who came in with this child, saw this creche, this empty home, this home in which we'll welcome Jesus in just a few short weeks, I believe she found in it a home for her child."
My friends as we once again mark and celebrate this feast in which we with grateful hearts remember the birth of the Savior, this lovely story points to a profound truth of our faith – a truth that is meant for you and for me this day.
Each and everyone of us is like that small child. For through the mystery of the Incarnation, our loving Father in His Son, Jesus, has reached out to make a home for us in His Heart. From the very dawn of creation, God’s loving plan for the human family was to enfold us in his creative and unfailing love. Yet, humanity turned from this invitation and embrace seeking its own way in a fragile and broken world. Yet, God’s love and mercy is unrelenting. Through Prophets of old, the call to return to that original embrace was proclaimed time and time again. Finally, in the fullness of time, the God who lives in unapproachable light, embraced our humanity, making his home with us in the vulnerability of a newborn child.
That, my friends, is the meaning of the Christmas mystery – the good news that you and I are never alone, never abandoned no matter how frightening this world of ours might appear. No, we are never alone.
And our response to so great a gift? Just one wonderful word – Gratitude. And so on this Christmas Eve we come to this Table of Grace and Blessing with grateful hearts to say ‘Thanks’ to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whose name is Jesus, the Savior of the world.