By Fr. Haralambos Papadopoulos
The humble manger of Bethlehem will remain for centuries a symbol of hope for all those who were disappointed by the ideologies, philosophies and religions of this world. For all those who experience and confess their personal fall not as a legal offense or a debt obsession but as an existential failure in the journey of truth about life and existence.
The manger is the salvific message that anything, even the dirtiest, the most obscure, the most anonymous and marginal of this world is not able to stop the momentum of divine love, the divine condescension, the laws of divine justice that puzzle humans. The greatness of the mystery of the divine cave remains inconceivable and incomprehensible to the world of colorful streets, shining receptions and celebrations. For the world of consumption it will always be a celebration or a holiday, but never an event set at the heart of history.
In a few days the bright trees will lose their luster and glamor and will become parched to show us the inadequacy and weakness of their nature. The colorful lights and emotional music will go to oblivion. The smiles of casual joy will be lost from customers in the shopping centers and there will remain only discarded cigarette butts and empty bottles to demonstrate the solitude of their comrades.
The humble cave of Bethlehem, however, will always be there for us to speak the heavenly language which like a thin divine aura tells us: "Do not be afraid of the least who yearn to become mangers."
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.