At Bishop Morlino’s Midnight Mass, he discussed many important points for us today. Particularly interesting was the way he tied it into religious freedom and the church’s position in modern society. Well no need for me to rehash what he said, read what he said for yourself:
The truth, the beauty, the goodness, of Jesus Christ is not accepted, even by many who claim to be his followers, and that’s why this is a Year of Faith, and that’s we need a new evangelization. If we want to find beauty, truth, and goodness, we come here. But when we see this, the question immediately arises: why do we see this?
And the answer is: because there was no room for them. He came to his own people, and his own received him not, that’s why he was relegated to a cave and a manger. It’s a good question: is there room at the inn for the church today, or are we headed for the cave and the manger? He came unto his own, and some of his own, even in the church, do not accept him. Is the true church of Jesus Christ headed for the cave and the manger? There’s no place we’d rather be. So be not afraid.
If and when there is no room for us at the inn, be not afraid. When those who claim to be with us act against us, be not afraid. Unless you’re afraid of heading to the cave, and the manger. But who wouldn’t want to be united with Christ, in being homeless in this world, in not fitting in in this world, in being so politically correct that we have to go to the cave and the manger. Who would not want to go to Jesus that way?
And if we go there, to Jesus, and if we just look prayerfully at this scene, and take it all in, Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men from the east, we take it all in. We are in touch with the truth, the goodness, and the beauty of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit right there. The pope spent a good bit of time adoring at the crib tonight. So did our apostolic nuncio. I almost had the feeling was that the message was that we all should spend a good bit of time because we had better get used to it. We’re not welcome at the inn right now, and it looks like it’s getting worse, rather than better. We move among our own, but our own do not accept us.
All you have to do is read the paper and you know that’s true. Here, the cave of Bethlehem in the manger, is beauty, truth, and goodness, when we ponder it, when we look up in it, we see Jesus made visible as it says in the preface: “And so we are caught up in the love of the God we can not see.” Beauty always does this, and the beauty of the nativity scene is the beauty of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
When we gaze upon this beauty seriously, when we invest ourselves in it, when we give ourselves time to contemplate it, we are lifted up way beyond this, to the God we can not see. And that’s what has to happen if there is going to be light for the people who walked in darkness. That’s what there has to be if there’s going to be grace appearing for people who are stuck in their sins. That’s what has to be if there is to be sense in the world.
Listen to the whole homily here or play it below.