Bible Reflection Guide for Catholics


We have finally reached the birthday of Jesus. We stand in front of the manger and look at the peaceful scene: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Infant Jesus at the center. The birth of Jesus is not a fable. It is a story that really happened in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.

Faith brings us to recognize in that little Child the true Son of GOD who, out love, chose to become man. In the face of the little Jesus, we contemplate the face of GOD, which is revealed in weakness and in the fragile constitution of a child. He reveals all the goodness and infinite beauty of GOD, the faithfulness and tenderness of the boundless love with which GOD surrounds each of us.

For this reason, we rejoice at Christmas, reliving the same experience as the shepherds of Bethlehem. We celebrate because with Jesus’ birth the Father has responded to our desire for truth, forgiveness and peace. And He has responded with such enormous love that He astonishes us. No one could have imagined it if Jesus had not revealed it.

When I visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for the first time, I was puzzled by the huge Church. It has only one entrance, so low that only a child can walk straight through it. We adults have to bend down in order to pass through it. How appropriate to approach the place where GOD humbled Himself and became a child.

It is said that the entrance was made so low in ancient times to prevent soldiers from entering on their horses and Bedouins on their camels. It was kept that way until today to make all pilgrims aware: If GOD came down from Heaven, we cannot but come down also from our pedestals to live as brothers and sisters, to climb down from our “camels” in order to approach the place where GOD appeared as a child.

May we, therefore, see in every child the humble Child Jesus who invites us to “become like little children” in order to enter one day the Kingdom of GOD. -
Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: What are the pedestals from which I lord it over others, the “camels” I must come down from to be worthy of what Christ has done for me?

Lord, thank You for coming and for becoming one of us. Kneeling at the manger and looking at You as a helpless infant, I feel weighed down by my pride. I pray that this Christmas will change my attitude. I pray that every child I see will remind me of You and of my task to become small and humble. Amen.


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