“A Child is born for you, he is Christ the Lord”
I remember vividly my visit to Bethlehem in 1999. The splendor of the churches and the excitement among our pilgrims faded as I stared at the tiny spot within the cave where they laid the newborn Savior. It was no more than a depression in the rock, hardly deep enough to collect a few drops of water for the animals that sheltered there. Was this all the space we could offer “he through whom all things were made” (John 1:3) who was born “for us”? Yet it was enough.
Making room for the Lord in our lives is central to the message we try to convey to our students as we prepare them to be caring and responsible citizens. Be it through the balance of mathematics, the evocative potential of language, the wonders of the natural world, the sensitivity to the divine in their own culture or the redemptive words of the Gospel, we make it known that the Christ Child was born “for them”. Our message is to let the transformative power of the Gospel affect their lives by coming to know the person of Jesus. Make room for him and he enables you to grow in wisdom, knowledge, peace and love.
It is easy to compare the journey of the Holy Family to the journey of our own lives. Subject to powers greater than them, they were compelled to leave the security of their home and travel with anxiety into the unknown: Mary anxious about her child, and Joseph determined to find safety and shelter for his small family. Initially finding only doors closed against them, they ultimately received that one simple act of kindness: the gift of the stable. Through it all, they were sustained by the knowledge that the Lord was with them, guiding their faltering footsteps.
Each day our students, staff and even their pastor, learn ever more certainly that a Child was born for them, to teach them that the Lord is there, if only they would make space in their lives as students, adults and citizens. Our prayer for you and your family is that the peace of the Child who was born for you will be in your hearts every day.