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Retracing the biblical passages that are proclaimed on the Solemnity of Christmas, one is astonished at how the risk of not accepting God’s gift is underlined. If the world does not recognize him (Jn 1:10, probably because of the deep gap between expectation and fulfilment), it is, as Jn 1:11 points out, they have not even accepted it. But who are “his own”? The first on the lists risks being precisely the one to whom Jesus is entrusted: Joseph. Joseph tried in the first place to repudiate Mary in secret (Mt 1:19). Illuminated by the angel of the Lord (Mt 1:20), he immediately managed to reorient his thoughts and align them with God’s plan (Mt 1:24-25), but the risk was really high. The same applies to her family members who do not provide the young woman with accommodation, but reserve a corner in the area where the animals are kept (Lk 2:7). Jesus’ “paternal” grandparents will never appear on the scene of Bethlehem… and the same apocryphal tradition will deny them a name, while it will be lavish with details about the maternal grandparents Anna and Joachim. The mystery of not being receive does not end here. The most cynical reactions are those of the authorities. In the front line is Herod who seeks to kill the child (Mt 2:13, seeing in him a dangerous threat); the scribes who marvelously know the Word but do not know how to acknowledge it when it became flesh and becomes the new principle of humanity (Jn 1:1,14). Let us allow the biblical pages of the liturgy of these days to accompany us, with all the provocations of which they are charged.
Best wishes of a Merry Christmas from the team of the Centro Biblico San Paolo!
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SOBICAIN / Centro Bíblico San Pablo
C/ Protasio Gómez, 15. 28027 MADRID
Tlf. +34 91 742 5113
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