Today we visited the Church Of the Nativity in Bethlehem and venerated the grotto where Jesus was born. We were uplifted by the crowds of people silently funneling down the steep, hard, worn, stone steps into the underground grotto to kiss and touch the hallowed spot where Jesus our Lord entered into humanity. The sweet calm reverence was in sharp contrast to the large towering wall ringing off Palestinian Bethlehem.

While in the church we reflected on how applicable to today’s situation is Bishop Barron’s (commenting on C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity) description of how God was obliged to arrive so surreptitiously, so clandestinely, sneaking, behind enemy lines. As such, we have hope and faith that the love of God through the child that was born in Bethlehem will soften and inspire love of neighbor in the hearts of all parties embroiled in the present day conflicts in Bethlehem and around the world.

—Joanne Meehan and Bill Bulger