Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 31

1 October 2016, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux • Elected to a second term as Rector General As I was beginning my second term, it came to mind that I should be celebrating Christmas at one of our most remote missions. When we look at the birth of Jesus- God’s most precious Son- we see a poor babe in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Our Saviour was not in the presence of princes or kings, but of pastors and animals. How has this truth given birth to the luxurious, commercialized Christmas celebrations in the comfort of our communities? Jesus, our Redeemer, chose such a way to be born! Incredible. Let us think of Mary and Joseph- parents to whom God gave the greatest responsibility of raising His Son- left wandering to find shelter for His birth. It was a pain of humility amidst Blessed Mary’s pains of labor. During the devastating flood of my home state of Kerala, India, in August 2018, people found a pregnant lady trapped in a flooded house. Thanks be to God, she was found with just enough time to be airlifted to the hospital, and she gave birth to a healthy baby. A photo of the happy mother and child were later published, projected by the media as a wonderful show of humanity. However, the Holy Family was not so lucky. But never a complaint or grudge, as that was the design of God. Jesus could have been born in a palace; God could have saved us in an infinite number of ways. Yet God saved us through the way of humility, poverty, and sacrifice. That was, is, and always will be the divine way. Thus, a Christmas celebration in a royal style is absolutely contradictory to the way of the Gospel. A joyous reunion, some good food, and decorations are all fine to manifest our happiness at the birth of our Savior. What strikes me most often is the contradiction between the Jesus of the Gospel, and the Jesus of our creation. The distance is often too much! We may 31