"You only have to read the first sentence of the story to know that there are deep social implications to it, should we place ourselves in this story. It begins with an emperor who could move people about at will. And so two people forced to obey the emperor’s edict set out on a long journey on the last month of the young woman’s pregnancy. And they were denied a place of comfort in her greatest hour of need.
And it wouldn’t be long before they would be forced to flee again, this time to find refuge from violence in another country. It’s right there. It’s in the text. It’s in the story.
And those who passed it on to us wanted us to know Jesus is no stranger to struggle or sorrow or the whims of human cruelty. They wanted us to know, as they did, both the gift and the responsibility of tending to light shining in darkness. We are the ones now to keep the light shining; we are the ones to keep the hope alive. The message of love credible — and that is no small task.
And some years are easier than others. In the hardest of years, it becomes all the more important.
And so I leave you now with the words of Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest who gave his life in the German resistance of World War II: ‘Light your candles quietly, such candles as you possess, wherever you are.’ That we do this matters more than we can ever know."