A friend sent me a quote which, in French, is very nice. It says, “Depuis toujours, Dieu aime Noël de tout son être” (Karem Boustica, Prions dans l’Eglise). Much of its beauty gets lost in translation. It means something like, “Godde has always loved Christmas with her whole being.”
I had never thought of Godde loving Christmas.
In his Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius proposes a meditation on the Incarnation. The Trinity after having looked at the state of the world decides that something has to be done to save the world from its abysmal ways. The consensus among the Three is that the Son will be born as a human being to show us the way, the truth and the life.
I don’t think I had ever ‘seen’ before how much Jesus was like the Godhead. When Jesus in the Gospel of John says, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father”, he expresses something that I have come to believe.
In meditating Ignatius’ exercise, I ‘experienced’ Godde’s infinite goodness and I sensed that I had gotten Godde wrong all along. I have been unfair to Godde. Godde is compassionate, merciful, patient, forgiving, loving the poor, the weak, the marginalized, the rejects of society. Just like Jesus did. Like parent, like child.
By having Jesus born in this very small town, among very poor people, the Trinity itself made a statement. These people, and people like them anywhere in the world, is where the Divine chooses to be born, to live and to die… The Trinity wanted to show us how to live. Jesus’ love for the powerless and marginalized is the human manifestation of the Trinity’s love for the very same people. If I do not understand this, I miss the whole point of the Incarnation.
Godde has loved Christmas from the beginning… The Trinity undoubtedly knew that it was sending Jesus on an impossible mission. But the Trinity, for the love of its Creation, chose to be born like one of us, feel and suffer like we do, to show us how It would like us to lead our life. And the structures of sin of Jesus’ time made sure to destroy him, to get rid of the problem that he had become hoping not to have to deal with it any longer. What a mistake that was.
Much is written these days about giving birth to Jesus in the depth of our heart. If enough of our hearts welcome Him, just think of the smile on Godde’s face…
Art: Giotto, Nativity, 1310