WHY NOBODY SEEMED TO NOTICE
“Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 18:4
We have just finished the Chrsitmas season. There we rejoiced at the presence of God in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The angel appeared to announce his coming. Zechariah experienced a theophany in his muteness. Elizabeth felt something in her womb dancing with joy at Mary’s coming.
The star shone in the east to herald his birth. Due to this the Magi came with costly gifts adoring the King of Kings. Though born in the manger, the Savior was greeted by shepherds who were told by an angel host to come and venerate him.
But why was it that when Jesus started his public life, he was just an ordinary person? Known as a carpenter, a lowly preacher from the unimportant town of Nazareth. He was not a priest, nor lawyer, nor scribe in the temple. He was just a laborer, the orphaned son of a departed carpenter and a simple but noble aging mother.
If he were born amidst miracles and glorious events, why is it nobody seemed to notice, nobody seemed to remember? Both Matthew and Luke solved this puzzle by making it clear that the people who experienced the marvel of Jesus’ birth all went back to their normal lives, they all “departed” after the events they witnessed. The angels back to heaven, the shepherds back to the fold, the magi back to their foreign land. And well, Joseph seemed to have died early, as did the the old Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna. John the Baptist was too young to remember anything. In Luke, it was only Mary who would be consistently present from the beginning to the end of Jesus’ earthly life, up until the resurrection.
After Jesus’ birth, things returned to normal once again. For the way of the Lord is not the way of ostentation and show. His way is that of humility, simplicity and poverty. The only thing Jesus carried with him from his conception birth and infancy was his child-like attitude before the Father and towards his fellows.
Let us pray to become humble, not to cling to the glories of the past or aspire for the fleeting riches of the world. Let us rather set out hearts on greatness in the kingdom of our Father in heaven. Viva Santo Nino!