Editorial – In search of humility for Christmas


Marnie mcallister

In his Christmas message, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz speaks of “the uninvited guest who turns our remoteness into community”.

This transformative power resides in the love of God.

The image that accompanies this year’s Christmas Message on the front page may raise eyebrows. It is not the typical Renaissance painting that depicts an idealized pastoral scene. These paintings make it hard to imagine the truly humble beginnings of Jesus’ life.

A barn could have smelled of animals and hay, possibly animal waste. The son of God was lying in a manger, where insects and other pests probably congregated with the animals for their sustenance.

It was, as Pope Francis said recently, a place of humility.

(Editorial concept and illustration by Marnie McAllister and Jennifer Jenkins)

The Nativity scene image on the front page of this year imagines the Holy Family today, if they went to Louisville instead of Bethlehem. If there was no room at the inn here, where would they go?

Homeless people in Louisville, who want to stay together as a family, often turn to an overpass shelter. The one pictured was located downtown near an off-ramp to I-65 North.

The Record photographed him in 2019, when local volunteers were visiting the men and women calling the roadside house.

The Record designer Jennifer Jenkins overlaid an image of journalist Ruby Thomas’ crib. And Jenkins has superimposed the image on other symbols of the local homeless community, such as the signs people hold asking for work and food.

The crib is something that most of us have in our homes, maybe something that we have spent a lot of money to buy. Yet these beautifully carved pieces and fine porcelain figurines represent the most humble deity.

It seemed to me appropriate to juxtapose this image of a manger with the camp by the side of the road as a reminder this Christmas of what to celebrate.

Archbishop Kurtz reminds us of our estrangement from the uninvited guest and our need to be transformed by the love of Jesus.

Our remoteness marginalizes Louisville’s homeless population, refugees, immigrants, and others outside the mainstream, such as those affected by racism and bigotry and other treaties without the human dignity. .

Pope Francis, during his Weekly General Audience on December 22, said that the humble birth of Jesus reminds us of God’s love for all mankind.

He called on Catholics to reflect on the upcoming celebration of the humble birth of Christ in Bethlehem.

“Let’s think (about this),” he said. “The Creator of the universe was not given a place to be born.”

The shepherds, who visited the manger after receiving the announcement of the birth of Jesus by an angel, “personify the poor of Israel, humble people who live inwardly with the awareness of their own need”.

“It is precisely for this reason that they trust God more than others. They were the first to see the Son of God made man, and this meeting has profoundly changed them, ”declared the Pope.

He noted that very little is known about the Magi, but their journey to find Jesus represents those “who have sought God through the ages, and set out to find him.”

“They also represent the rich and the powerful, but only those who are not slaves to possessions, who are not ‘possessed’ by the things they believe they have,” he added.

It is only through humility, he said, that one can truly understand God and oneself, for this “opens us to the experience of truth, of genuine joy, to know what matters “.

May we humble ourselves this Christmas time, as God himself who gave his son the humblest start, as we seek to transform our estrangements into community, through his love.

Amen.

MARNIE McALLISTER
Editor


Comments are closed.