Gozo Bishop Mario Grech said that when mankind does things that are not becoming, many call them an ‘animal’ in a harsh tone. He said that, unfortunately, there are many actions that can place people in the category of ‘animals’.
This was said in his homily during the midnight Christmas Mass in the Gozitan Cathedral in Rabat. Mgr. Grech said that man can be called an animal when he does not reason, letting egoism take over, becoming heartless, consciously committing injustice, lying, and allowing action to be governed by passions. He referred to St Cyril of Alexandria, adding that Jesus was born in a manger because He found that people had fallen to the level of animals.
The Bishop explained that the manger was seen as having a link to sin, which is why the Fathers of the Church taught that as animals always go back for food in the manger, that is how man goes back to sin. He said that man looks for the manger because he is weak, and that’s why when God wanted to meet man, he went to look in the manger “knowing full well that something in man pulls him towards it.”
Mgr. Grech said that on Christmas, those the world calls ‘animals’ and sets aside are called to gather around the manger, not to eat weeds, but the bread of life. He insisted that, “Christmas without the manger is not Christmas. A crib without a manger is not a crib.” The Bishop continues to said that Jesus was born to be placed in the manger, and if man wants his birth, then they need to find him a manger.
He concluded the homily by praying to Mary to, “driven by care and her maternal sweetness, today also place baby Jesus in our manger so that it can change from a manger covered in mud, to a throne for his glory in our midst.”