On Christmas night the Gospel of Luke explains how the shepherds “went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger” (Luke 2:16).
Do we have a similar urgency to our faith?
Pope Benedict XVI reflected on this passage during a Christmas homily in 2012.
Once the angels departed, the shepherds said to one another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened for us (cf. Lk 2:15). The shepherds went with haste to Bethlehem, the Evangelist tells us (cf. 2:16). A holy curiosity impelled them to see this child in a manger, who the angel had said was the Saviour, Christ the Lord. The great joy of which the angel spoke had touched their hearts and given them wings.
It is interesting to think about having a “holy curiosity,” similar to a child who is curious about something that is new, eager to learn more about it, dropping everything to pursue it. When thinking about this feature of the shepherds, we should reflect on our own approach to God and if we have any curiosity that impels us to “make haste.”
The shepherds made haste. Holy curiosity and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. God does not feature among the things that require haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say. And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the one truly important thing. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us?
As the Christmas season continues, may we “ask [God] to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us.”
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