On this TOB Tuesday, check out the TOB Institute’s Theology of the Body Christmas reflection from Fr. John Sullivan:
During my teenage years, I played an odd game with my five brothers and two sisters during Christmas time. We would play a version of “Where’s Waldo?” with baby Jesus. After Midnight Mass, we would come home and dutifully place the tiny plastic body of the Christ child in the manger. We then opened some presents before heading to bed. By morning, however, baby Jesus would be missing – until he was found sometimes hidden in the garland strewn on the mantelpiece. The finder then hid Jesus again, somewhere in the house, with the only stipulation that a part of his body had to be showing. Throughout the Christmas season this game of finding and hiding Jesus would go on, to our hysterical laughter and the tolerant bemusement of my parents.
I often think of that game now as an adult, but with a deeper question of “Where’s Jesus?” The Christ child can be lost nowadays in our search for the perfect gift, the crazy traffic jams of shoppers, the frenzied pursuit of entertainment, or the endless sound of Christmas music during the Advent season. And yet, the challenge is not to withdraw from this chaos, as if God cannot be found in the mess; but to search diligently like the shepherds or the Magi to find Jesus. His Incarnation teaches us that he is, in fact, found in the tangible, present moment. Our Lord desires to be found by us in the seemingly mundane circumstances of our daily life. He took human flesh from Mary and wedded it to the light of his divinity so his glory could radiate in every human encounter. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”