The beginning of a story

A small story that recalls what could have surrounded that event that marked the course of history.

December 23, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo: ©Cathopic

A young man, barely twenty years old, is walking along the road, carrying a donkey with his packsaddle and some serones in which he carries the essentials for the journey. On top of the animal, proud of his load, a woman, almost a girl, almost grown up, if she is not already. Joseph, worried, keeps looking back at his virgin wife: "Are you doing well, do you want to rest? "Calm down Joseph," smiles Mary, "the Child and I are doing well. I think the donkey's weary pace has put him to sleep. He hardly moves anymore"; but Joseph does not calm down.

There is too much commotion in the village. They look for a quieter place to enjoy their privacy. They arrive at a cave fitted out for stables and tools, where they stay.

Almost everything is arranged by Divine Providence. Almost everything because there are things that the Lord leaves to His Mother to organize and now that the birth seems imminent, it is She who takes the direction.

While Joseph is busy removing the donkey's tack and putting things inside, Mary cleans and tidies up the stable. She removes the dirty straw and prepares a floor of clean straw on which she spreads rosemary as a carpet. In the background there is a manger that she fills with her soft mantle as a mattress, on which she spreads a cloth of thread that her mother had prepared for her. They will be the corporals that will welcome the Child.

Once the preparations are finished, they finally sit down to rest. In the background, a stubbornly docile mule and a bravely meek ox stand in awe, offering them protection and companionship. Sitting on the ground, holding hands, Joseph and Mary talk in a low voice.

The two were talking, or were they praying, when Mary squeezed Joseph's hands:

-It seems to me that he is already here.

The air became thinner, the moon stopped for a moment and the miracle was performed! Almost without Mary's notice, the Child passed from her bosom to the rosemary bush, to return from the rosemary bush to her side.

Thus, so simply, the Earth received the irruption of God in time, the dazzling presence of the divine in ordinary life.

With the experience that comes from a mother's love, Mary takes her Son in her arms, holds him gently to her breast, a gesture she will repeat years later at the foot of the Cross, and kisses him, her first kiss to God made man!

- My Son and my God!

The first tears of love fall on the Child's head, as a baptism.

Jesus, the eternal Word of the Father, newborn is silent. The Virgin, oblivious to everything, looks at her Son, who smiles, and brings back memories that she kept in her heart. Memories of nine months ago, when the Archangel Gabriel made her the most surprising proposal that a human being had ever received: "Do you want to be the Mother of God, do you want to be co-redeemer of Humanity?

Now the three of them are alone in the cathedral of Bethlehem in a serene explosion of love. The creature has been created to love and is perfected in self-giving, therefore love is a gratuitous gift of love received from God, accepted with humility. The angels contemplate with admiration the current of love in which the Holy Family is affirmed.

People are approaching the stable. Women wrapped in their cloaks carrying baskets with food; others, younger, with embroidered sheets to wrap the Child; rough men, from the village, to lend a hand in whatever is needed, and children, many children that nobody knows where they have come from. They are the ones who went to heaven before they were born. Some of them because the Virgin Mary ordered it, others because their mothers did not open their arms to them and they had to take refuge in the arms of the Loving Mother. They have been waiting for Him for a long time, now, finally, they can enjoy with Him.

On the outskirts of town, a colorful caravan advances. They are kings, or magi, or something like that. With the solemnity proper to their rank they enter the stable, greet the Mother, kiss the feet of the Child adoring Him - the knowledge of God is inseparable from adoration - and, according to oriental custom, approach the father to embrace him and offer him gifts: Gold, to crown the King, incense, to adore the God, Myrrh, to embalm the Redeemer.

How the story continued, I believe that after many vicissitudes, the family settled in Nazareth and lived there for many years; but that is another chapter, now we enjoy this one.

The authorIgnacio Valduérteles

D. in Business Administration. Director of the Instituto de Investigación Aplicada a la Pyme. Eldest Brother (2017-2020) of the Brotherhood of the Soledad de San Lorenzo, in Seville. He has published several books, monographs and articles on brotherhoods.

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