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Gospel for Sunday, December 25: Luke 2: 1-14

Lord’s Christmas

1In those days a decree by Caesar Augustus ordered that a census be taken of the entire land. 2This first census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3Everyone was going to get a census, each in their own town. 4Joseph, too, went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem: for he belonged to the house and family of David. 5He was to be enumerated together with Mary, his bride, who was pregnant. 6While they were in that place, the days of childbirth were fulfilled for her. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the lodging. 8There were some shepherds in that region who, sleeping in the open, kept vigil all night by guarding their flocks. 9An angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord enveloped them with light. They were seized with great fear, 10But the angel said to them: “Fear not: behold, I announce to you great joy, which shall be to all the people: 11Today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. 12This is the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13And immediately there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men, whom he loves.”

Luke 2: 1-14

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.


“I would not be doing my duty if I said ‘Merry Christmas’ to you without bothering you. Instead, I want to bother you. I cannot bear the idea of having to address harmless, formal wishes imposed by calendar “routine.” It flatters me, even, to assume that someone will reject them back to the sender as unwanted.

Many uncomfortable good wishes, then!

May Jesus who is born out of love give you the nausea of a selfish, absurd life without vertical thrusts. And grant you the strength to invent an existence filled with giving, prayer, silence and courage.

May the Child who sleeps in the straw take away your sleep and make the pillow of your bed feel as hard as a boulder until you have given hospitality to an evicted, a stranger, a poor person passing through.

May God who becomes man make you feel like worms whenever career becomes the idol of your life; overtaking, the project of your days; your neighbor’s back, the instrument of your climbs.

Mary who finds only in the dung of animals the cradle where she tenderly lays the fruit of her womb, compel you with her wounded eyes to suspend the yearning of all Christmas dirges until your hypocritical conscience accepts that the dung of men, or the garbage can, or the incinerator of a clinic become the crossless tomb of a suppressed life.

May Joseph, who in the affront of a thousand closed doors is the symbol of all paternal disappointments, disturb the hangovers of your dinner parties, rebuke the warmth of your tombolas, cause short circuits to the waste of your luminaries, until you allow yourselves to be put into crisis by the suffering of so many parents who shed secret tears with their children without fortune, without health, without work.

May the angels announcing peace bring war to your somnolent tranquility incapable of seeing that, little farther than a span with the aggravation of your complicit silence, injustices are consummated, people are exploited, weapons are manufactured, the land of the humble is militarized, peoples are condemned to extermination by starvation.

Let the poor who flock to the grotto, while the powerful plot in darkness and the city sleeps in indifference, make you understand that if you, too, want to see “a great light,” you must start from the last. That the handouts of those who play on people’s skin are useless tranquilizers. That the furs you buy with the thirteenths of multiple salaries look good but do not warm. That delays in social housing are acts of sacrilege when provoked by corporate speculation. That the poor, the truly poor, are always right, even when they are wrong.

May the shepherds who watch in the night “guarding the flock” and scanning the dawn, give you a sense of history, the intoxication of expectation, the joy of abandonment in God. And may they inspire in you the deep desire to live poor: which is then the only way to die rich.

Merry Christmas! On the old dying world, may hope be born.”

+ Don Tonino Bello, Bishop

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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