BORN IN THE HAY

     
Faith and Discipleship Catholic Faith I know Jesus was born in a manger, but why is that important và what does it mean?

When the child Jesus was born, his mother Mary laid him in a manger (Lk 2:7). The word “manger” comes from the Latin word munducare which means “to eat.” A manger or crib is a wooden or stone feeding trough or food box that holds giỏi for larger farm animals like cattle, horses, và donkeys. Mangers were located wherever livestock were kept, places like stables, corrals, or caves. Farmers were sure lớn keep their mangers well-supplied with fodder at all times so the animals would never go hungry. The cattle can walk up lớn a manger at any time, & then spend long, leisure hours chomping away, chewing and slowly re-chewing their cud.

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When Mary và Joseph arrived in Bethlehem there was no room for them at the inn, so they were forced lớn find lodging elsewhere, probably in a cave where animals were staying. When Jesus was born, Mary would not have wanted to lay her infant on the hard, cold, stone floor. Instead, she had to make due with what was available và the manger proved lớn be a convenient alternative: the xuất xắc was soft, the box was up and off the ground, và the sides tall enough to keep her child safely inside.

Once laid there, an angel told the shepherds that they would find their newborn Messiah và Lord “lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). They went in haste và found the child in the feeding trough và they feasted their eyes on him (Lk 2:16).

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Jesus was not laid in a manger by accident. It is a major spiritual symbol. Animals go to lớn the manger for physical food, but with Jesus lying on the hay, we can go to the manger for spiritual food. Jesus has an infinite storehouse of nourishment available, và we can approach him any time and never go hungry. Jesus feeds us with Word và Sacrament, his gospel & the Eucharist. Jesus wants us lớn devour his word (Jer 15:16; Ez 3:1; Rev 10:9-10), chew on it, slowly ruminate on its meaning, swallow và digest it, và make it part of the fabric of our being. Jesus’ Word is lượt thích no other food, it has the power khổng lồ save our souls (Jas 1:21). Not only that, the infant in the feeding trough is the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), the true bread come down from heaven, and whoever eats this bread will live forever (Jn 6:51). If a person wants lớn be spiritually well-fed, it is important lớn read Scripture và receive the Eucharist often.

The manger is a momentous sign that Jesus is sustenance for us. The shepherds feasted first. Now it is our turn. Jesus born on the first Christmas is food for our souls.

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About Father Michael Van Sloun 

Father Michael Van Sloun is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis. As a former school principal, high school instructor & athletic coach, he has always been a teacher. He now teaches the faith as a homilist, Bible study leader, retreat director, pilgrimage guide và author of numerous articles.