The readers’ forum

A sign of hope for the human family


During the Christmas season, our attention is drawn to the crèche. Today the crèche has been widely banished from public display — whether in cities’ parks or even on the private property of shopping malls.

Nevertheless, in thousands of churches — from great basilicas to humble rural chapels — a crèche enhances the usual liturgical decor. Even many of our Protestant brethren proudly have in their places of worship a crèche, which originated with a Catholic saint, Francis of Assisi.

We see the animals, the poor shepherds, the mother who has just given birth. We see the awestruck, yet protective, Joseph. And we see the baby, placed in a feed box — a manger.

Who could imagine that this little baby is the Son of the Most High? Only, she — his Mother does. Looking at her newborn baby with the eyes of faith, Mary knows the truth and guards the Mystery.

Today, we can also join in her gaze, and look on this child through her eyes — through those eyes of simple and unwavering faith — and so recognize in this child the human face of God.

Pope John Paul II recognized the powerful symbolism of the crèche. He initiated the custom of having a rather large one displayed each Christmas season in the middle of St. Peter’s square.

“The Child laid in a lowly manger: This is God’s sign. The centuries and the millennia pass, but the sign remains, and it remains valid for us, too — the men and women of the third millennium. It is a sign of hope for the whole human family; a sign of peace for those suffering from conflicts of every kind; a sign of freedom for the poor and oppressed; a sign of mercy for those caught up in the vicious circle of sin; a sign of love and consolation for those who feel lonely and abandoned. A small and fragile sign, a humble and quiet sign, but one filled with the power of God who out of love became man.”

Is there any wonder why the crèche is still the foremost icon of Christmas? Is there any wonder why the crèche — even though it is sidelined from the secular celebrations of this holiday season — still invites our contemplation and leads us, who gaze on it through eyes of faith, to awe-filled prayer?

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, archbishop, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Don’t create nightmare traffic a road to nowhere

    Re the Sept. 6 article, Dolphin Expressway extension gets mixed reaction: In 2004 when the Miami-Dade Commission had an agenda filled with proposed developments to extend the Urban Development Boundary, a group called Hold the Line was organized and stopped the commission. I am proud to have been a leader as president of the Urban Environment League along with the Tropical Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and hundreds of residents from the many communities that comprise Miami-Dade County. The Commission wisely stopped this attack on the natural environment of the western limits of the county.

  • Support PAMM

    Re the Sept. 12 Other Views column, PAMM shouldn’t get public funding: How could any piece be so far off base?

  • Hobby Lobby whim

    Re the Miami Herald’s Sept. 7 Other Views column, Hobby Lobby decision a blow to practice of medicine: I take exception to the characterization by Drs. John Jennings and Britani Kessler of the deeply held convictions of some employers as “whims” to be cavalierly brushed aside.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category