FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
‘The Word became flesh’
In the heart of the ancient city of Naples lies the much visited ‘Via Gregorio Armeno’, which for obvious reasons is known as ‘Christmas Alley’. From early in the year artists and craftsmen spend hours in their workshops along that street designing cribs with a difference. They have come up with the ingenious idea of depicting the Bethlehem scene in ordinary settings. Consequently, these unique cribs contain not only the figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and the Wise Men, but also the figures of ordinary people going about their everyday chores. The message is strikingly clear. Jesus is to be found not only in the manger, but also in the market place. Wherever people gather to pray, work or play He is there. When the celebration of Christmas ends and the real work of Christmas begins we need to be aware of His presence in ordinary people and places and in surprising people and places too.