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From the Garden, to the Manger

Matthew Harrison

Monday, December 29, 2008

shepherdsadoration.jpgIf you caught our Catholic Focus Christmas episode you may recall Fr. Rosica referring to the wood of the manger and the wood of the cross.  I’ve found myself thinking of that point this past weekend after visiting the local Church’s Nativity scene.  The Christmas mystery, mingling with the Passion and the Easter mystery.
Curiously, the Agony in the Garden came to mind – not Christ’s suffering, but his sleeping disciples (Matthew 26:36-46).  “So, could you not watch with me one hour?” our Lord asked Peter (40).
Christmas day has come and gone (for most Christians; our brothers in the East will be celebrating shortly!).  We're moving on to the next thing.  Our eyes are heavy not with sleep, but with Boxing ‘Week’ specials, with New Year’s plans, and any other host of distractions.
But it occurred to me, that in these distractions I'm missing the peace and joy of Bethlehem.  The Christ Child, in the manger, there, to be adored by all nations!
It doesn’t have to be an hour, but why not take some time to consider Jesus in the crèche? Pop into your parish for a moment sometime this week and ‘say hello,’ spend a few extra minutes after Mass, watch with the Holy Family, with the Shepherds.  Hold this helpless Child, God made man, in your arms beyond Christmas day.
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