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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spirituality: "Look for Him where no one else Would" by Pope Francis

           Christmas is an encounter with Jesus. On this holy night you are invited to ask yourself how you can meet Jesus, whether you are ready to meet Jesus, or whether you let yourself be carried along by life as if it were all just a game. No, Jesus is knocking at your heart; Jesus is telling you the same thing that the angel told the shepherds: a Redeemer has been born to you. He simply asks you to listen – or rather, he asks you to seek him. Today he invites us to seek. 

And where should we look for him? The sign that was given to the shepherds is the same as always. I’ll repeat it as it was told to them: seek him in a manger, in a stable. The sign is the same: look for him where no one else would. Don’t look for him among the lights of the great cities; don’t look for him in appearances. Don’t look for him in all that pagan assemblage that is offered to us continually. Seek him in the unusual, in surprising places. Seek him like those shepherds who were told to look for a new-born child lying in a manger. Seek him there. Push away the foliage, and underneath you will find the shoots of life, in that simplicity, in that littleness.

In the grotto of Bethlehem today, in order to enter the place where Jesus was born, one has to crouch down, to lower oneself: to meet Jesus one has to make oneself small. Shed all pretension. Shed every ephemeral illusion; get down to the essential, to what promises you life, to what gives you dignity. Lower yourself: do not be afraid of humility. Today we are told that the higher you hold your head, the more important you are. The more vain you appear, the more power you have. The more one shouts and quarrels, the more discord one sows, the better. No, that’s not the case! Lower yourself; make use of meekness. Listen and live together in peace. Recognize your dignity and that of others. Love and let yourself be loved.

Source: Pope Francis, Encountering Christ, pp.31-32.

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