Christmas from the heart of the holy family

«A child is born to us, and he is the Prince of peace»

(Isaiah 9:5-6)

  To enter into the climate, the atmosphere, the shelter of Mary and Joseph’s home, to enter quietly, in absolute silence and if possible, in their interiority, with those delicate feelings that deliver the motions of the free spirit, which knows of profound annihilation, of refinement of the soul and of joy that transcends these sensitive coordinates of history, is to follow step by step the pilgrimage of them, Mary and Joseph in the expectation of our Emmanuel.

To go to Bethlehem, a journey that must be made, with few things, in haste, but with the joy that enlarges the heart, lights up the eyes and prepares the being to sing and proclaim with the Baptist: «Prepare the way, make ready the paths for our Good that is coming» (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:3).

Mary and Joseph know that the hour is approaching, they understand that the Child God is about to come forth into the universe, (Micah 5:1-2) in Bethlehem, in a cave, where the irrelevant have made room for shelter, warmth, closeness…. Mary’s whole being is unconditional openness to let the treasure, the light, the Expected One, the promise, life itself shine through…there is a deep silence and a mysterious surge of peace…which is only interrupted by the joyful and tender singing of «Glory to God in heaven and on earth peace to men with burning hearts» (Luke 2:14). The heavens and the earth clap their hands, the stars shine more brightly, the trills of birds sing in unison, a gracious symphony to this newborn, who in a stable establishes the wealth of God on earth (Isaiah 9:5).

Joseph and Mary, absorbed and silent, intertwined their gazes, smile and adore the presence of Love in the universe. (Isaiah 9:2) Mary holds him in her arms, because her whole heart, her whole being as a woman, now contemplates with emotion the Son of the Father, humane, tender, infant, weak… Joseph observes the Mother with the Child, he has no other attitude than to adore, to contemplate… She, the Mother, gathers her immense joy in abundant tears, which run down her cheeks and even reach the little one and make him smile… What a language of love, what a language of poverty, of the self-abasement, of the lack of self-esteem of our God. What a language he discovers who understands the mysteries of love, presence, enchantment, closeness, reverie, because a Child has been given to us, a brother on the way has been given to us (Isaiah 9:5).

And Joseph follows step by step the mystery that now becomes so close to him, so palpable: He who owns the universe, because it came from his hands, now shivering with cold, the one who made this wonderful set of harmony that is the cosmos and in it man, groans of love, what a wonderful exchange, leaves his, takes what is ours, our weakness, outdated, his eternity, immutable. Joseph and Mary, together continue to observe him, they do not want to lose a single one of his expressions…his eyes smile and cry with love, what a sweet smile, what a tender lover, his pink lips express candor, his chest is heaven for the one who is faithful, his small hands, so soft they are, will gladly indicate the good that generates peace in justice; his feet so small, will insinuate the path to follow, the path of strangers and pilgrims who, with nothing of their own, launch themselves to new conquests from the Spirit. Mary and Joseph, from this style of free, poor and humble life, are gathering in their hearts, the language of the highest poverty-richness of God, who becoming one of us, wanted to live in our land, in the periphery, to walk with each of us ….

As we contemplate in joy the Trinity of the Earth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in the celebration of our Christmas, a deep cry arises deep within us to «listen to the motions that inhabit us, there where God continues to write his story with us, we are seekers who want to be happy to spread to others the joy of living, each one in her own process, we are invited to enter into our inner sanctuary, to ask ourselves vital questions that push us to continue growing as persons, learning to exist in fullness, to name our needs, emotions and desires» (Caring for our own life, message XXIII Chap. General). It is there, in the warmth of the family of Nazareth, that we recover the renewed joy of knowing we are loved, saved and called to enjoy the very richness of this family which, by gathering us together in a community «fraternal in faith, hope and love» (Constitutions 28), also urges us to «put more joy, trust and hope in our world, and to carry out gestures of evangelical life that lead to justice and peace». (Caring for the lives of the poor, message of the XXIII General Chapter).

Sister Lilyám del Carmen Ramírez Cañizales

Capuchin Tertiary Sister of the Holy Family


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