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25 December 2010

Christ Mass: for Christ is born(e) of Mary

Did the woman say,
When she held him for the first time in the
dark dank of a stable,
After the pain and the bleeding and the crying,
"This is my body, this is my blood?"
(Francis Croake Frank, excerpt from Did the Woman Say) 
One child. One miracle. All children are miracles. All of life is miraculous. But this was a different sort of miracle. Different than all the other miracles of birth that day, that night. Yet at the same time, not so different.
A make-shift community in a make-shift shelter. Searching for light and life, for a reason to hope that things will not always be as they are. Even if it takes another thirty years, rooted in the conviction that hings will get better eventually, but not quickly.
Meanwhile others watch and wait, coveting their own power. What is the life of one more Palestinian/Jewish child? If seven pounds of dying flesh on the end of a spear would secure a crown and throne, why not just kill them all?
In life we are in the midst of death, from the smallest to the greatest, with every breath we draw, from our first to our last.
Was there ever a silent night? Was there ever a moment's rest? Quick! Up! To Jerusalem! To the temple. Only eight days to make the journey. (What of the Virgin's aching, bleeding body?) Then on the road again.
The tradition would have us believe that a December Christ-Mass occurred on the heels of Hanukkah. Imagine celebrating the liberation of the temple from the Greeks while the Romans still control it. 
Can this birth have any effect on the legions of Rome? Or their descendants? What of the empires in our days? What of our own empire? What has the Bethlehem Babe to do with us and with our world?

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