The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Holy infant to tender and mild

Although we may look to stock portfolios and land investments as a means of securing our future, there is no future for us or for our society greater than the investiment we can place in our children. The image of Mary and Joseph gathered around the crib recalls the growing trend in the 19th century of what historians call the “cult of domesticity,” the importance of family life and the care of children. Monarchs such as Victoria and Albert went to great lengths to show themselves as good fathers and mothers and not only rulers. However, like our 21st century, the message concerning children was mixed. This was also the century that saw the abuse of children by means of child labor and the destitution of child poverty in the new industrialized cities. This stark contrast can be seen in the works of Charles Dickens, written a few decades after the composition of Silent Night. Dickens was particularly concerned about the treatment of chldren since he saw how society treated its children as a reflection of the quality of a society as a whole. When we look on the baby Jesus in the crib, we should recall the great potential of every child and consider ways in which we can encourage this potentional. The gaze of Mary and Joseph on the baby Jesus should be our gaze for every child.  We should encourge vigilence in the area of how we protect and educate our children.

December 29th, 2016