When we hear the word “nativity” we usually think of Christmas, a particular feast and season in late December. But the “nativity” has a much deeper and far-reaching mystery that penetrates every moment of every day. The nativity celebrates and remembers the moment the Word was made Flesh in the womb of Mary…”incarnate of the Virgin Mary” as we pray in the Creed. Nativity is not simply the birth of Jesus but the Incarnation, the Word assuming body, blood, and soul united to Divinity. When the Son entered into our history through the humanity of Jesus, ALL of creation, including every human being who lived, is living and will live, is blessed and made holy.
Many churches, including St Teresa of Avila in Chicago, have a permanent shrine of the Nativity, always visible and venerated, because the Christmas mystery, the Incarnation, is celebrated every day. The nativity celebrates the very beginning of our Redemption and Transformation….Easter celebrates the fulfillment of this New Life.
Each one of us conceives Jesus in the womb of our souls when we Love… And when that Love is EXPRESSED in an act of charity or justice, we give birth to Christ: IN THE FLESH!!!! Yes, Nativity is a living, daily event when the connections are made between our prayer and the expression of prayer.
A theory of science teaches that creation began with a “Big Bang,” an explosion energy. Out of the womb of Mary…in a tiny village of Bethlehem …with little fanfare… in a smelly stable surrounded by animals… was born Jesus. And in this moment, an explosion of divine love and energy ignited a new humanity, that is slowly and painfully becoming a new creation restored in the very Image of God. In the heat and humidity of July… A Blessed Nativity. After all, five months from today is Christmas!!
Suggestion: have in a visible place in your home, a crèche that is never “boxed” away.