Blessed art thou, bethlehem, that the towns envy thee––and the fortified cities!
“O virgin, when Joseph went up to Bethlehem sounded by sorrow, thou didst cry to him: ‘Why art thou downcast and troubled, seeing me great with child? Why art thou wholly ignorant of the fearful mystery that comes to pass in me? Henceforth, cast every fear aside and understand this strange marvel: for in my womb God now descends upon the earth for mercy’s sake, and He has taken flesh. thou shalt see Him according to His good pleasure, when He is born; and fill with joy thou shalt worship Him as Thy Creator, Whom the angels praise without ceasing in song and glorify with the father and the Holy Spirit.'”
“Mary once, with aged Joseph, went to be taxed in Bethlehem, for they were of the linage of David; and she bore in her womb the Fruit that had not been sown. The time of the birth was at hand and there was no room in the inn; but the cave proved a fair palace for the Queen. Christ is born, that He may raise again the image that before was fallen.”
“How shall a small cave receive thee, for Whom the world cannot find a room. O thou Whom none can comprehend! O Thou, Who with the Father are without beginning, how shalt thou appear as a small child?
The way to be exaulted and to resemble Him is not arrogance but humility. Because of this, men are easily set right, as they recognize humility as the road by which they are recalled…
He who defines all things and is limited by none is contained in a small, makeshift manger. He who holds the universe and grasps it in the hollow of his hand, is wrapped in narrow swaddling bands and fastened into ordinary clothes. He who possess the riches fo inehaustable treasures submits Himself voluntarily to such great poverty that He does not even havre aplace at the inn; and so He enters into a cave at the time of His birth, who was brought forth by God tielessly and impassibly and without beginning. And––how great a wonder!__ not only does He who shares the nature of the Father on high put on our fallen nature through His birth, nor is He subject merely to the utter poverty of being born in a wretched cave, but right fromt he very start, while still in the womb, He accepts the final condemnation of our nature.
From His first days on earth Jesus showed us that the path to union with God was based on humility and detachment from earthly pleasures.