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Reflection on Christmas/Incarnation from Joseph Donders


Dear Companions on the Journey,

For many years, I have savored this reflection on Christmas/Incarnation from Joseph Donders:

It is night when the story starts, a pitch-dark night.  In town the Roman census takers were still bending over their ledgers and books, filling in the details. Soldiers were patrolling the streets, when in the open field in a stable Mary gave birth to her child.

And then those angels came, first one, then some, and finally a whole throng. They did not go to the census takers, they did not go to Herod or the high priests, and they did not even go to the monks in the desert to tell their news.

They went to the most marginal ones in the neighborhood, they went to the shepherds.

The light of the angels shone on them; the heavenly songs were heard by them; the newness, the alternative world, the kingdom of God started among them. 

It was not only the Child who was born that night.  It was a whole new world, beginning not among those operating and managing the old order, but emerging from its victims in splendor and light.

That is what Mary knew and felt. That is what Simeon and Anna foresaw. That is what the angels sang.  After their song they left this earth. They must have thought that He together with us could be relied upon.  Amen. 

What do you think?

And let us pray for/with one another.


The Paulist Center