The Word Among Us

Advent 2020 Issue

Bringing the Christmas Story to Life

St. Francis and the First Christmas Crèche

By: Patricia Mitchell

Bringing the Christmas Story to Life: St. Francis and the First Christmas Crèche by Patricia Mitchell

At Christmas Mass last year, I held my two-month-old grandson, who was decked out in a festive sweater that matched the one being worn by his two-year-old brother. He was sleeping peacefully, the way newborns do, despite the joyful sounds emanating from the pipe organ and choir and filling the whole cathedral. As I gazed at him, I thought, “Isn’t this amazing? God came to us in just this way, a helpless infant, oblivious to his surroundings and totally dependent on Mary and Joseph for his care. This is how much God loves us!”

We can think about the Incarnation of Jesus in the abstract—that God sent his beloved Son to become a man and live among us. But the...


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