Have you ever wondered why God became a baby? He could have become incarnate with a body as an adult. But why did He need to be a baby? It was certainly for many reasons. A major reason why God wanted to become incarnate as a baby was because He wanted to communicate something about himself through His body. What do babies communicate about themselves through their bodies? They tell us they are 1) fascinating and wondrous; 2) hidden like a treasure; 3) in need of their mothers; 4) conduits of joy; 5) and in need of rest. And if we look at Jesus’ Body, He communicates each of these attributes to us.

First, God is infinitely fascinating. We find out more about Him, yet there’s another mystery around the corner. How wondrous that is—a mystery that keeps giving more to us, just as a baby continues fascinating us over and over.

3 joyful kids playing in the snow

Second, God is hidden in all things. I love going to some new place or meeting some new person. I love seeing in all God’s creation His goodness. Every person is like a small treasure hidden from the world. Everything reflects God and God is what holds that thing in existence. God is hidden there—in the poorest of the poor. That’s what God is communicating to us when He took on the body of a child—He is telling us: “Pay attention. There is something wondrous here, if you have the eyes to see it.”

Third, children are in need of their mothers. And so, Jesus is saying that… in some profound way… He needs us? Certainly, God doesn’t substantially need us. That is a philosophical heresy that would mean that God relies upon creation, rather than the other way around. But, strangely, on some level, He has chosen to need us. As God says in the book of Hosea of his beloved Israel, “My heart recoils within Me; All My compassions are kindled together.” (Hos. 11:8) While all is grace (even our ability to say yes), God cannot save us without our yes. He waits for us. As the Infant Jesus needed Mary’s breast milk, on some level, God needs each of us to give Him back the nourishing milk of His love that He has poured into our hearts so that we have the strength bear Him in our bodies to the whole world.

Fourth, God wants to be in each of us to bring us joy. He wants to pour out His joy into our hearts. God wants us to recognize Him in His Body in the Eucharist as well as in His body, the Church in others. For as it says in Les Misérables, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” When we love others, we see God, experiencing His joy. As Mary saw in Jesus’ tiny face the face of God, so we can recognize Him in all creation and in the Eucharist bringing joy.

Finally, the Incarnate God wants to rest within you. Jesus’ Sacred Heart is wearied by the anxieties of all His children. Because He is good and loving, He will always listen to you. But Saint Therese of Lisieux challenges us. She says, “I see very well how rarely souls allow Him to sleep peacefully within them. Jesus is so fatigued with always having to take the initiative and to attend to others that He hastens to take advantage of the repose I offer to Him.” Jesus longs for a friend who will sit with Him in the silence of creation and experience Him in such silence. As Jesus rested in the arms of Mary, Jesus also wants to rest within you. He wants to rest within your body in the Eucharist… and you in Him.

This amazingly grandiose, yet in one sense, tiny event that happened—God becoming man—has changed the world forever. God has revealed to us in the face of a baby the innermost depths of His heart. During this Christmas may we learn from Mary what God has hidden since the foundation of the world. May we see how much God has chosen to need us and how much He longs for us to know His joy and His love.

Gabriel Milano has his Master’s degree in Theology in Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute and is a content creator and speaker for TOBET. He also writes fantasy novels for children and young adults, under the pen name G. M. Dantes.
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Body Is a Gift cover
Body Is a Gift cover