By Jacob Boddicker, SJ
The Eve of Christmas
Unlooked-for came the Son of David then,
Borne in the new Ark of a virgin’s flesh:
The Bread of Heaven now in Beth-lehem,
Spurned from inn, from home, denied warmth or rest.
‘tis then the Virgin’s labor did begin
But not to birth, nay, rather to subdue,
To hold back the Messiah there within
‘til a place was found that would yield Him room.
Ah! what agony in her heart she bore:
She, the last blockade to our longed-for Lord!
Soon a place was found, and on straw-strewn floor
Mary fell, by all but the beasts ignored
Save Joseph, who swept aside dung and hay,
emptying a trough where his King might lay.
(1930’s photo of the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem)