“The Door of Humility”

I don’t know if you have ever been to the spot where tradition tells us Jesus was born.  Bethlehem is a beautiful village.  The name ironically means “house of bread.”  Interesting how Jesus is born on every altar in the world at Mass each day in the bread of the Eucharistic host.  He comes to us every time Mass is offered; same Jesus as was born in Bethlehem.  What I find interesting about the church in the town of Bethlehem are the doors.  They are very, very low.  They were built that way for a reason.  The only way into the church is through those low massive doors.  The only way to approach the spot where God lowered Himself to earth is to lower ourselves.  The proud cannot get in.  It is a physical reminder of the humility of God in the Nativity; God didn’t have to become one of His creatures, but He did.  As God brought Himself low to swoop down to save us, we too bow down as we approach Him.  One enters through the very low “Door of Humility,” a small entrance to the church. It was created to force even the most important visitor to dismount from his high horse and bow low before approaching the place where God put his footprint upon the earth.

And so on Christmas Day at every Mass said throughout the world something unique is done.  It is only done on Christmas Day, and no other day of the year.  During the ancient Apostles Creed we all genuflect during the words “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.”  Every Catholic in the world will genuflect during those words at the Christ-Mass to physically remind ourselves of just how lowly it was for God to become one of us, so that He might one day save us and lift us up to His glory.

– Fr. Gerard Gordon