St. Paul says: “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). The soul enlightened by faith
judges things in a very different way from those who – having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them – ignore the inestimable treasure they contain.
Consider this analogy: Whoever knows that a certain person in disguise is the king will behave toward him very differently from someone
who, perceiving only an ordinary man, treats him accordingly. In the same way, the soul that recognizes the will of God in every smallest event, and also in those events that are most distressing and dreadful,
receives His will in all things with an equal joy, pleasure and respect.
“Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass” (Mt 21:5). The outward appearance of the circumstances we face may be mean and contemptible, but beneath this abject garb, the heart of faith will discover and honor the majesty of the king. The deeper His humility in coming to us in such a guise, the more our hearts fill with love for Him.
God in Bethlehem
Imagine, for example, how the sight of God himself – poor and humble, lodged in a stable, lying on straw, weeping and trembling – pierced
the loving heart of Mary! If you were to ask Mary and Joseph, the Magi and the Shepherds, what they found in the Child, they would tell you that they found in His extreme poverty an indescribable tenderness, and an
infinite dignity worthy of the majesty of God.
Now imagine, on the other hand, what the inhabitants of Bethlehem would say if you were to ask them what they thought of that same Child.
Actually, you know from their behavior just how little they thought of Him – and how, on the other hand, they would have paid great honor to Him had He been lodged in a palace surrounded by princely pomp.