There is a lot of economy in that cave in Bethlehem. There lies the most powerful image of the “economy of salvation”, of that mysterious, divine and human convenience that turned the Word of God into a Child.
There are also workers (shepherds) present, Joseph a carpenter is also present, the animals of the stable are also there, which in that ancient economy were the first elements of production. There is a young woman, Mary, who knew about domestic economy and primary relationships.
The economics of money and the economy of the Kingdom confronted each other around that manger, a comparison that would later become a constant in the teachings of Jesus. The Inns that is, the Bethlehem businesses, did not have ‘room’ for that birth. A family, however, perhaps just one person, among the people of Bethlehem, found room for them in the only place he or she had available: a stable. And so the economy of Christmas was Communion. A certain type of economy did not find room, because all the spaces available were already occupied, and another kind of economy gave way to a new process. The economics of space and the economics of processes, the economy of Francis and the economy of Bernardine, the bareness of the Child of Bethlehem and the bareness of that ‘poor man’ of Assisi.
Looking at our world today, we must admit that it was not the economy of the Cave or that of Francis that ended up becoming the economy that rules the business surrounding Christmas, all holidays and all weekdays. Profit continues to win and the gift to be bare.
Even today, however, faced with the bareness of children and the poor around the world, we need to ask ourselves what kind of economy we want. Each approaching Christmas Day asks us the same question every year: which side are you on? What is your economy?
Merry Christmas! And Good Economy.
(this article was first published on the blog of edc-online.org. on December 24th, 2019)