– Br. Michael, ofm
This year we commemorate the 800th anniversary of Christmas at Greccio where the tradition of the Christmas Crèche (Nativity Scene) finds its history. St. Francis of Assisi had a vision to gather the people to remind them of the Bambino of Bethlehem. One of the biographies of the life of St. Francis says he desired “to enact the memory of that babe who was born in Bethlehem.” Each year as we set up our crèche (nativity scene) in our homes and churches it is a reminder for us to not just look at pretty statues or a family heirloom rather it is an opportunity to pray for our hurting world and to be reminded we are gathered in community with fellow believers trusting our God is here with us in the hurting and the harshness of life.
As we face uncertainties in the year ahead, as we listen with broken hearts about wars in our world, as we know the hurts and pains of our communities and families – we trust our God is with us equipping us with hope. This is the very message St. Francis desired to awaken in the people of Greccio 800 years ago. Their world and ours are not very different – let us be attentive to the Bambino of Bethlehem and how he is stirring us to be people of the gospel. We encourage you to pause and pray before a crèche this Christmas Season. Let us be brave enough to pray for the courage to follow Christ wherever he shall lead us in 2024.
Blessings of peace and all good to you this Christmas and all through 2024
from the Friars and Staff at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!