Dec. 25, 2016 - Christmas, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
There was no room at the inn. What experience do we have of that? None really.
Can we put ourselves in Mary and Joseph’s shoes? Not really. When we travel, we usually make reservations well in advance. We arrive with our confirmation number in hand.
So maybe the closest we come is when we get to an airport and we discover that our flight is cancelled.
Or we get to the hotel and we are told that our room is not ready yet. But that’s not really the same thing.
Maybe the folks whose homes were flooded know what it feels like. But friends and family stepped in immediately to render aid and to offer shelter.
This did not happen with Mary and Joseph. They were all alone. Remember Joseph had to travel with Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census.
That is a 69 mile journey. Imagine making that journey on foot or riding a donkey. Imagine making that journey pregnant and about to give birth.
Then imagine arriving at the destination only to be told that there is no room at the inn.
Bethlehem was full of others who had also traveled for the census, others who may have had more resources, others who already had a room at the inn.
It was late and cold and dark. For Mary and Joseph and the unborn child, there was no welcome. The world did not make way for the Messiah.
So every Christmas we go to the manger to see the Christ child. We can touch the Lord Jesus because he is one of us.
The infant Jesus lying in the manger is so small, so fragile. The infant Jesus lying in the manger is Emmanuel, God with us, like us, accessible to us.
And so we kneel with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. We hear the angel voices. O night divine. O night when Christ was born. O holy night.
There may be no room at the inn and maybe that’s a good thing.
Because that really challenges us to step into the scene and make room.
We have to make room for the Christ child in our hearts and in our homes. And so on this Christmas night/day we make room for the Lord.
We open the doors of our hearts and the doors of our lives and we let the Lord in.
There is room in each and every heart and soul that has come here to kneel and adore the newborn king, Christ the Lord.
May the joy of this Christmas fill you as you make room for the Lord to come.