04 December 2007

GOOD FOR NOTHING?

Tuesday in the 1st Week of Advent
Lk 10:21-24

Just before the Blessed Mother was about to give birth to the Baby Jesus, God the Father sent an angel to earth to search for the right animals that could assist the Holy Family in Bethlehem. The first place that the angel went to was the forest where he met a lion and a fox.

“I need animals to help the Holy Family, for the Lord Jesus is to be born,” the angel told the beasts. “What can you two do?” he asked.

“I will guard the Holy Family so that no one can harm them. With my claws and fangs, I will shred to pieces anyone who goes any inch nearer them,” said the lion.

“Oh my,” said the horrified angel, “you are not only too powerful; you are very violent too. Thanks anyway.”

The fox stepped forward and said, “I volunteer to help them, angel.”

“And what how will you do so?” asked the angel.

“I will see to it that the Holy Family will not starve,” said the fox.

“Hmmm…sounds very practical. And how do you plan to do that?” inquired the angel.

The fox replied, “I will sneak into the neighbors’ barns every night and steal their chickens for the Holy Family so that Mary, Joseph, and the Baby can eat well everyday.”

“Oh, no,” the angel said sadly, “you can’t feed the Holy Family with something stolen from others. You are rather sly. I’m sorry, you do not qualify.”

The angel’s next stop was a barn where he met a peacock, a donkey, and an ox. He informed them about what brought him there.

The peacock said, “Did you say, the Baby is to be born in a stable? Very well then, I will spread my beautiful tail and make the stable look more enchanting than Solomon’s palace or even more than the Temple in Jerusalem.”

“You’re quite vain, Mr. Peacock. Sorry, but you’re not the one I need.” said the angel.

Too shy to volunteer themselves, the donkey and the ox were asked by the angel to step forward. “Is there anything you can offer?” asked the angel.

“Nothing,” chorused the two. “I spend my days carrying loads on my back and there seems to be nothing that I learn from doing so except some patience and humility,” said the donkey. “I do almost the same thing everyday that my friend here, Mr. Donkey, does, but he forgot to mention that we also always swing our tails to keep flies away,” the ox added.

“Aha, that’s perfect! Please hurry and go to Bethlehem. You are badly needed there,” said the angel to the donkey and the ox.

Now, we know why there is no lion, no fox, and no peacock in the nativity scene.

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