By Bret Thoman, OFS
Bethlehem: House of bread
The old Hebrew name bêth lehem, meaning “house of bread”, has survived till the present day. In its Arabic form, however, bêt lahm, it means “house of meat”
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life come down from Heaven”
The Manger where Christ was laid was a place straw for feeding, a place of nourishing food for animals
Jesus said, “Unless you eat …
The Wood of the manger that held Him so securely would one day give way to the wood of the cross
The Swaddling clothes: After an infant was born, the baby was washed, wrapped with strips of cloth. These stripes kept the newborn child warm and also ensured that the child’s limbs would grow straight.
Mother and child are of one bond. A bond was established based on their shared feelings, interests, and experiences.
Figurative : chaos could result if the bonds of obedience and loyalty were broken.
The Magi (Mystics) or Three Kings as they were known who visited the newborn child Jesus were highly regarded as leaders to be followed and revered
Shepherds who visited Jesus were low life, considered dishonest, unclean and unlawful.
We are by the company we keep.
God came as a person so he knows what it means to be a person. Jesus said,
Incarnation: literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to condensation, the fusion of two or more images, ideas, or symbolic meanings into a single composite or new image. the conception and birth of a sentient creature (able to perceive or feel things) and is the material manifestation of an entity, god.
Jesus was Venerable: accorded a great deal of respect, esp. because of age, wisdom, or character.
See Luke for the birth of Christ.
St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
Francis was focused on Jesus so much he forgot sometimes where he was going.
St. Francis was orthodox with the pope
Nativity scene, Creche or cresch
Now three years before his death it befell that he was minded, at the town of Greccio, to celebrate the memory of the Nativity of the Child Jesus, with all the added solemnity that he might, for the kindling of devotion. That this might not seem an innovation, he sought and obtained license from the Supreme Pontiff, and then made ready a manger, and bade that hay, together with an ox and ass, be brought unto the spot. The friars were called together, the folk assembled, the wood echoed with their voices, adn that august night was made radiant and solemn with many bright lights, and with tuneful and sonorous praises. The man of God, filled with tender love, stood before the manger, bathed in tears, and overflowing with joy. Solemn Masses were celebrated over the manger, Francis, the levite of Christ, chanting the Holy Gospel. Then he preached unto the folk standing around at the Birth of the King of poverty, calling Him, when he wished to name Him, the Child of Bethlehem, by reason of his tender love for Him. A certain knight, valorous and true, Messer Giovanni di Greccio, who for the love of Christ had left the secular army and was bound by closest friendship unto the man of God, declared that he beheld a little Child right fair to see, sleeping in that manger, who seemed to be awakened from sleep when the blessed Father Francis embraced Him in both arms. This vision of the devout knight is rendered worthy of belief, not alone through the holiness of him that beheld it, but is also confirmed by the truth that it set forth, and withal proven by the miracles that followed it. For the example of Francis, if meditated upon by the world, must needs stir up sluggish hearts unto the faith of Christ; for even the hay that was taken from the manger by the folk proved a marvellous remedy for sick beasts, and a preventative against divers other plagues, God magnifying by all means His servant, and making manifest by clear and miraculous portents the efficacy of his holy prayers.