The history of
our faith tells us that as soon as Christ was born, His
body shone like the rising sun, and the night became as
midday, and so it was light. Think how many, who were
not sleeping, and wondering about such a brightness,
sought to see the source of the light and ran toward
such a great spectacle of light. The Virgin sensing the
excitement of the people placed the Child in the manger.
Jews came to see the source of the light. Of this light
the Prophet said, "The people that walked in darkness,
have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the
region of the shadow of death," of the sin of
ingratitude, "a light has risen for them, You have
multiplied the nation," to see the light, "and have not
increased the joy" (Isa. 9:2-3), because no one brought
Him or the Virgin a gift. Of that light it is pointed
out when it is said, "For a Child is born to us, and a
Son is given to us".
Here the question
is raised, why did the Blessed Virgin place her Son in
the manger between the beasts? The response is, for
First, to fulfil the
scriptural truth. As for the first, it was
prophesied that He would be placed between the animals
and humbly be adored. And so was fulfilled the prophecy
of Isaiah saying, "Hear, O ye Heavens, and give ear, O
Earth, for the Lord hath spoken. I have brought up
children, and exalted them: but they have despised me.
The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's crib:
but Israel has not known me" (Isa. 1:2-3).
Second, to alleviate
bodily needs. Think if the Virgin Mary was cold,
because we do not read that they brought lined coats.
For this reason she placed her Child in the manger so
that the animals might warm Him with their breath, as it
was revealed by Habakkuk the Prophet, who said this:
"Lord I have heard your voice and I have feared. Lord I
have considered your work, in the middle of two animals
you shall be known" (Hab. 3:2).
teach us a moral lesson. The Virgin does this so
that we might be instructed in good morals. An ox is a
great animal having two big horns, which signify the
temporal lords and rulers of the community. The donkey
which carries burdens, signifies peasants and subjects.
And the Virgin places her Son in the middle, pointing
out that all can indeed be saved by the saving justice
of the Lord, and that not by hatred nor by love or by
fear nor by bribes they give unjustly. Vassals too by
keeping faith, obedience and reverence for their lords.