Reflection for the First Sunday of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Family, Year A
The time for waiting is over! Now it’s time for Joy! Kid’s are here to remind us what Christmas is all about.
If we could sum up the logic of the liturgical calendar in one word, the word would be Christ. It makes sense then that Christmas is the season of Joy, because we celebrate Jesus’ new born presence in the here-and-now of our lives.
It can be a great downer when Christmas comes and we’re not finding that joy, here and now. We may just find the opposite. We might even find chaos, instead of joy. What does the liturgy for the first Sunday of Christmas offer to console us?
There are many profound reasons why the newborn Jesus was laid in a manger, or better said, a feeding trough. It shows that right from the first moment of his life he is the bread of life, giving himself to us as food. Even the name Bethlehem means, “house of bread”. It also shows that Jesus has embraced poverty and so he identifies with all the poor of the world. It also shows that he is not afraid of humbling himself in order to dwell in an imperfect place. More…
If we’ve been living Advent with interest, we’ve probably prepared the nativity scene (minus the Christ child), prepared Advent candles, listened attentively to the readings and beautiful liturgical prayers at Mass, and perhaps taken a little extra time for spiritual reading and retreat, in order to prepare ourselves to celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas.
It’s remarkable that even though the infant Jesus couldn’t speak, from the first moment of his birth, he was proclaiming that he is the Bread of Life. It’s as if is impatient to institute the Eucharist.
The word Bethlehem in Hebrew means “house of bread” and it’s also no coincidence that Jesus rested in a feeding trough—a “manger” sounds much more quaint, but that’s what it was.
So let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on Jesus, the Bread of Life.