On this Feast of the Epiphany, we are reminded, just as the word “epiphany” reveals, that it is a revelation from God that the Infant Jesus is the Son of God. While pondering the words of Scripture that describe this Blessed Event, I paused over the passage where Mary “laid him in a manger”. This phrase is repeated by the angel who instructs the shepherds to go to him, describing where they would find him.
“Let this be a sign to you: in a manger you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.” Luke 2:12
I thought about how, as a mother, Mary would naturally be loving on, kissing and holding her baby, especially knowing that he is not just any baby, but the Son of God! And it would be natural for her to take him in her arms when strangers suddenly came into their modest dwelling, just out of motherly protection. It is commonly and rightly thought that by saying Jesus would be found in a manger that it meant that he came poor, but doesn’t it also show that Mary, right from the beginning, was presenting or giving Jesus to us all? I imagine she did the same for the Magi who came to Jesus too. She wasn’t holding him and keeping him to herself, although he was and is uniquely hers. So, she laid him in a manger, a sign that he may be approached by all.
He willed it to be so.
As the Christmastide comes to an end with the Feast of the Epiphany, let us not forget to approach the Baby Jesus, and bring him our hearts, our love…that is our consoling gift to him. At the foot of the manger, we can see the Babe with his little outstretched arms reach for us, and perhaps understand something new about this God of ours who would come to us as a tiny, helpless little baby.
My dear Sweet Baby Jesus- In your tender compassion, you have come to us as an infant so that we may not fear you. We can gaze into your sweet face, touch you gently, and hold you close, sweetly coaxing and awakening our love for you. “Come to me. Come near to me.” you say, “I am yours.”
May the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary.