Friday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Correggio The Nativity (Holy Night) 1528-30
“No room for them in the inn.” Francis of Assisi in the fourteenth century contemplated this fact, beginning the tradition of meditations on the manger with stable and animals as an expression of the poverty of Jesus’ birth. While Luke would agree, there are two further points he wants to bring to our silent, prayerful attention.
First, there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn, because Jesus did not just come for a visit to stay awhile, as we do when we stop at a motel. Jesus came to stay!
Second, Mary and Joseph laid Jesus in a manger, the place where animals eat. Jesus rests for the first time in a place reminding us that he would become our food one day, the day before he rested on another wooden framed structure—the cross.
Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.