The painting “Adoration of the Kings” by Benedetto Bonfigli (right) depicts the worship of Our Incarnate Lord.
Notice how Our Lord is adored: certainly with gifts and by some on bended knee; but also by the poor as well as the rich, by animals as well as by humans. Notice also how the serene Holy Virgin, who accepts no accolades for herself nor is giddy at what she has done, casts her gaze on her Son. Her joy is contained in Him; and so to Him she looks. And with her dispassionate gaze, she urges us to see and believe that her Son is our joy as well.
Most striking of all, however, is that Bonfigli deigns to include the crucified Lord. As you see Our Lord on the cross, your eye once more has little choice but to follow the lifeless peaceful gaze of the Crucified One to the Holy Child who is blessing all who approach. It is as if the crucified Lord is saying, “For this reason I was born, and for this cause I took human flesh from the pure Virgin—so that I might bless both rich and poor, both pure and sinful, both man and beast.”
Such words should put our heart at ease, and should chase away whatever fear and sadness we presently endure. For the Incarnate Lord is born to put an end to death and misery, and to unite us to His salvation by uniting us firmly to Himself.
May our hearts and minds, in all joy and confidence, ever be reminded, especially this Christ Mass tide, that Our Lord Jesus came into our flesh to unite Himself to our mortality and afflictions and to bear our sin, so that we might share in the blessing of His life, peace and mercy.
And may the richest blessings of this Holy Nativity be with you and yours.