Pastor’s Postcard – Niño Jesus

Sunday January 7, 2024

Looking back at December, I most remember the devotion of our community to the Niño Jesus. 

One side of the sanctuary was like a nursery, filled with at least thirty small statues of the Child Jesus in his crib, brought to the household of our church for a blessing and adored in our family homes.  A member of my family was upset because someone was to be absent from Christmas dinner.  Their mood changed to warm laughter as I helped them focus on the child Jesus.  Adults really do choose their disposition and attitude based on what we focus on.  Our Christmas liturgies had things to appreciate like the beautiful environment and trumpets and some things to forget like a demon in an amplifier.  We can dwell on what is wrong or rejoice in what is right. 

Children do not always have the luxury of choosing their interior climate through prayer or meditation.  They tend to react to the stimulus occurring in the moment and are subject to the environment around them, sometimes as innocent victims.  We need only think of the orphans of Gaza or Mariupol.  The child Jesus was both loved and adored by angels and shepherds and hunted by King Herod.  Christ was born in a cave and Christianity in the catacombs.  The peace of Jesus’ kingdom seems always under threat from without.  We cannot help but be influenced by external forces but must always, as St. Paul bids us, strengthen the inner person (Ephesians 3:14-19).  The Prayer of Saint Gertrude to the Niño Jesus gives us something to contemplate: “Hail, most charming little Jesus, noble Child of Nazareth, full rose of Jericho, blooming flower from Heaven! Draw our hearts to Yourself and refresh them with Your sweetness.”

In Christ,

Rev. Robert P. Capone