“It is Christmas every day on earth, because Christmas, my brother, is Love!”
This Christmas, we are guided and accompanied by the Midnight Gospel, and by this text written by Father Michel LATERAS (Limoges)
In Bethlehem, two thousand years ago, House and Bread were going concerns!
Mary and Joseph were a couple like others. They had set out from Nazareth to Bethlehem to obey Empereur Augustus’ decree to go and be part of the census. There was a need to know how many people lived in the Empire. The numbers had to be impressive to demonstrate its power. Mary and Joseph were part of a big group that had come to register in the books of the powerful.
Yes, but the great ones of Rome had not prepared for everything …
In Bethlehem, there was not enough room for everyone … Mary and Joseph didn’t have a House to stay in and they probably had no Bread. Their situation is a lot like what is happening today … Many are the people who no longer have a House or Bread! Many are those like Mary and Joseph, who are travelling on roads that are not always easy! Our world has lost the needed hope to believe in the future and move forward …
“Each time that we wipe the tears of a child it is Christmas; each time that we lay down our weapons, every time we get along, it is Christmas; each time we stop war, and we open our hands, it is Christmas; each time we force misery to retreat, it is Christmas!”
Those of us who celebrate Christmas … Those of us who have recognized God’s presence in a child … Are we able to bring a Light, no matter how little or fragile, to guide the men and women of our time? Will we announce Peace in our world and in our lives? Will we invite those who cross our paths to come in and find warmth in the House of Bread?
A House and Bread are two essential elements in human life. A House to protect oneself, and Bread to feed oneself. A House to welcome family, friends, those who knock at our doors … and bread to be shared.
What could be more beautiful than sharing a piece of bread! Our eyes see all those from the sower to the baker, working hard to make the bread we share … Our ears hear the crackling sound of hot bread as it cools, and the crust that breaks in our hands … We breathe in the bread’s pleasant aroma, making us think of life, all that is simple … Our hands touch and share the bread: at times the crust is tough and breaks to reveal a soft white inner core … And then we taste the flavor, of God who gives of himself!
“Today, Christmas is in the hands of those who share bread!”
“Christmas is when the beggar forgets his/her outrage and no longer feels hungry!”
By living Christmas in simplicity, soberness, and trust we put forth a sign of hope in our world ... That of a child, a newborn, swaddled and laying in straw … Our world is so mishandled today that our contemporaries need a sign to open themselves to a new future.
The child invites men and women of all times and places to share ... The child born today, becomes food that leads all humanity on the pathways of God …
The child invites us to take a seat in the House of Bread for today and tomorrow …
May this Christmas season, in spite of somewhat special conditions, or maybe thanks to these conditions, be a time to welcome and share!
Then our world may find hope again, in the eyes of the child in the manger …
Fr. Michel LATERAS
“It is Christmas when hope finally springs from a love that is more real!”
This text inspired the Saint Joseph School students as they set up the manger of houses; they brought bread made at the school, offered full baskets to bring to mind those who are without house or food.
They then went and shared it with the “Restaurants of the heart/ restos du cœur”.
Bains-sur-Oust Community, Morbihan