“Augustine drew out the meaning of the manger using an idea that at first
seems almost shocking, but on closer examination contains a profound truth.
The manger is the place where animals find their food.
But now, lying in the manger, is he who called himself the true bread come down from heaven,
the true nourishment that we need in order to be fully ourselves.
This is the food that gives us true life, eternal life.
Thus the manger becomes a reference to the table of God,
to which we are invited so as to receive the bread of God.
From the poverty of Jesus’ birth emerges the miracle in which man’s
redemption is mysteriously accomplished.”
Pope Benedict XVI, p. 68
An Excerpt From
Jesus of Nazareth Infancy
I love this offering by Pope Emeritus Benedict regarding St. Augustine’s comparison in that a manger
is the place where animals are both sheltered and fed…is, in essence, the same place where mankind
finds both his shelter and food—
That the saving Bread of Life…the body and blood of our Savior, first came to us in the
way of a humble manger on a precarious night and located in a far-flung middle eastern village.
A trough turned crib, resting in an animal’s manger.
A newborn infant becomes both the sustenance and, in turn, Savior of all mankind.
The analogy of feeding and nourishing the soul of man.
We know that birth leads to life and life requires sustenance…
yet in the end, when death does come…we know that death is but a mere formality…
For the one who was born in a humble animal’s stall brings both sustenance
as well as eternal life…
and to our Jewish brethren, Happy Hanukkah.
It’s off the to the Mayor and Sheriff…
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.