That’s the name of a Christmas hymn. But like so many others this year, hymns I’ve heard all my life and I know by rote, it’s striking me as profound.
With the birth of this child, history was changed.
Despite the tension and violence that shook the Holy Land this year, Christians from around the world flocked to Manger Square in Bethlehem on Monday to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the ancient West Bank town where he was born.
Others traveled to Vatican City, where Pope Benedict XVI had lit a Christmas peace candle set on the windowsill of his private studio. Pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered below in St. Peter’s Square for the inauguration Monday evening of a Nativity scene and cheered when the flame was lit…
In his homily, Benedict cited the Gospel account of Mary and Joseph finding no room at an inn and ending up in a stable which sheltered the baby Jesus. He urged people to reflect upon what they find time for in their busy, technology-driven lives.
“The great moral question of our attitude toward the homeless, toward refugees and migrants takes on a deeper dimension: Do we really have room for God when he seeks to enter under our roof? Do we have time and space for him?” the pope said.
“The faster we can move, the more efficient our time-saving appliances become, the less time we have. And God? The question of God never seems urgent,” Benedict lamented.
The pope worried that “we are so ‘full’ of ourselves that there is no room left for God.” He added, “that means there is no room for others either — for children, for the poor, for the stranger.”
I wish for this Christmas Day around the world a renewed commitment to others, especially children, the poor and the ‘Other’.
And a re-commitment every day thereafter.
Joy to the world. And peace on earth.