During Christmas Eve Mass tonight, we had the following whispered conversation:
Munchkin: How did God get on the cross?
Mama: Well, Jesus came to earth as a person like us, and some very mean people put Him on the cross and He died.
Munchkin: But how did they do it? … Did they use tape?
Mama: No, sweetie, they used nails. They put nails in His hands (using my index finger to indicate on your hands) and feet, and it hurt Him very much.
Munchkin: Why did He die?
Mama: Because He loves us. He didn’t have to. Because He’s God, He could have decided not to let them hurt Him and kill Him. But He did because He loves us very much. And then He came back to life!
Munchkin: He’s alive again!
Mama: That’s right! He lives in our hearts (using my index finger to indicate on your chest) and in heaven.
…And then something happened that ended the conversation, though I can’t remember if it was that you became distracted by something else, or if i had to hustle after your brother because he was getting too far away. But in the midst of all the Christmas celebration, thank you for this poignant reminder of the real reason for the season: Christ was born to die for us in order to conquer death and bring us to eternal life with Him.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
the cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh:
the Babe, the son of Mary.
–“What Child is This?” v. 2