Beloved brothers and sisters,
This beautiful symbolism is an expression of St. Augustine from his Sermon (189, 4). Holy Father Pope Francis refers to it in his letter ‘Admirabile Signum’ on the meaning and importance of the Nativity Scene. The Holy Father sent out this letter on the first day of Advent during his visit to Greccio where St. Francis of Assisi first started the tradition of the presepium or nativity scene in 1223.
“Laid in a manger, He became our food.” The Eternal Word of God humbled Himself out of compassion for humanity so that all the creatures who lives in death may regain life in His divine love. This generous self-emptying of God is the source of our salvation and of our expressions of charity. The year 2019 is a year of living and witnessing this spirit for the Jesuits in Timor Leste.