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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Image from Würzburg Diocese

Luke’s Gospel 2:12

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

The chanceIn the wide free fields the shepherds wandered in the night, when, lo! the sky burst open with dazzling light and throngs of jubilating angels singing: the Saviour and Messiah is born! Dumb struck at the heavenly liturgy, the shepherds gazed: what’s this God given sign? Back to parched winterfields earth, bare-footed poor hastened to the draughty stable, to behold the True Sign in utter simplicity: a baby boy wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger because there had been no room in the Inn. A homeless child, nothing more but surely nothing less than that!
The child is there present for all people with whom he’s about to enter into solidarity: the poor and despised, the man with the withered hand, the bent-down woman whose sole horizon is the earth below, the blind Bartimaeus, the so called adulterous woman whom he saves from stoning ...Today still, the Christmas electric lights, the angels’ liturgical sonorous message, all this “stage performance” satisfies our need of a sign! But we need this to learn what these signs truly mean.
If we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, we will daily meet these signs as did the shepherds in Bethlehem, in utter simplicity: the homeless families, lost asylum seekers, roofless people, the countless little people who of no worth for society .The birth of the Savior is the chance of an emerging new world, a new beginning bringing peace and justice for all at long last!

Hermann-Josef Venetz

trad. claire-marie Jeannotat

with kind permission of the author