A Cave in Bethlehem

Our Lord, the awaited Messiah, was born in the obscure town of Bethlehem. He was born into a tranquil shelter. There was no fanciness surrounding his birth but rather our prophesied Messiah was born into a humble manger in a cave. He was not born into a palace, and there were no loud announcements of His holy birth. As a matter of fact, even the local inn did not have room for him. 

Our Lord Jesus was born into a Jewish family, descending from the house of David. He was not born within the governing Romans. Our Lord wore swaddling strips of cloth and was born in a shelter near donkey’s and an ox. He shared a shelter in a cave used for safekeeping of animals. When St. Joseph learned that there was no room in the inn for him and St. Mary, we are not told that he was enraged at the unfairness of the situation. Instead, he peacefully accepted an offer of a nearby animal shelter. He put his faith in God to provide for his Holy family. 

Our Lord took his first human breath among the animals of the cave. These animals would have been domesticated and peaceful. They would not have been anxious with the humans among them. The shelter was surely protected from wind, rain, and all other elements. 

Through close examination of the birthplace, inside the cave of the humblest and lowliness of circumstance, there would be no one drinking wine therefore no drunkards shouting obscenities, no one worshipping false gods and idols to touch the same floors, and no sexual immorality under the same roof in which one would have slept. In a sense, it was free from all iniquity. The cave provided the sublimity of peacefulness and serenity. – Bishop Yousef

The cave was made of strong and enduring rock. It had survived all the catastrophes of the weather, and most likely stood still from the origin of time. It was strong, and sheltered our Lord Jesus Christ. This could be the foretelling of our Lord telling Saint Peter, “…on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). 

– Excerpts and Summary from “Lord at Thy Birth: A Perfect Perception of Peace” by Bishop Youssef

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