On this day the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who
embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to
Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-Son, help round out
But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine
an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the
night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out
something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after, and yet compelling enough to leave
behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.
On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed,
“un-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own
hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the
shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.