After Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree forbidden to them in the Garden, God promised to send a Savior through the seed of a virgin. “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Genesis 3: 15). Fr. George Leo Haydock, in his commentary on Scripture explains the prophecy in this verse:
“She shall crush”: Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head.
From the very beginning of human history was this promise of a Virgin to come, bearing Our Lord into the world for the salvation of man. Isiah 7:14 prophesies that a son would be born to a virgin and Micah 5 prophesies that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem.
This is all basic catechesis, and all educated Catholics know that Christmas is about the birth of the long-awaited Savior, born of the Virgin in Bethlehem. St. Luke and St. Matthew both testify that “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” St. John is even more explicit: “For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.”
The point is this … As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we should be meditating on the long-anticipated arrival of the One who would enter the world to save man-kind from sin. This is precisely the entire point of Christmas.
But Catholic Relief Services, in its bid for more funding, has twisted the message of the Birth of the Christ-Child into a political statement. On December 1, Catholic Relief Services published a resource page titled, “Advent and Christmas Prayers from CRS.”
The very first prayer on that page, titled “Gracious Lord, Child of Bethlehem,” focuses on the birth of the Savior of Man, not as a Savior to be anticipated, but as an archetype for political refugees.
First of all, the prayer is factually wrong. Jesus was not born as a refugee in Bethlehem because his parents were “fleeing!” Luke 2:1-7 is very clear about why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem:
And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.
More importantly, however, shifting the focus and attention away from of the birth of the savior of all mankind, in favor of political commentary is both profane and disgusting.
Another “prayer” posted on this page, titled “Today and All Days,” speaks of three comings of Christ; the first in Bethlehem, the second at the end of the world … and the third from “cries, whispers, song and tears” emanating from the hearts of men. Tradition is very clear on this. There are only two comings of Christ in this world, and His current presence among men is through the Eucharist, not through emotional supplications.
Another “prayer” on this page, titled, “When Every Night is Winter,” again refers to Our Lord’s birth being as a “refugee,” further politicizing Christmas.
But this politicizing of the Nativity is nothing new for CRS. They did the same thing last year on a page titled, “Holy Family, Refugee Family: Digital Advent Retreat.” The opening prayer of this “retreat” says:
“Gracious Lord, Child of Bethlehem, as you were born a refugee to parents who first fled to Bethlehem and then to Egypt, help us grow in solidarity with refugees everywhere, to know we are all refugees, until our hearts find refuge in you. Amen”
On this page, CRS vice president Bill O’Keefe stretches the analogy to a modern-day example. Click here or the image to play the video.
Keep in mind, this is the same Bill O’Keefe who gave $2,000 to radical pro-abort, pro-homosexual Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. He’s also the same one who said rather boldly that CRS is proud that it does not evangelize.
But, as if this wasn’t enough, CRS even had the audacity to politicize the Rosary on a page titled, “ADVENT MEDITATION: THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY WITH REFLECTIONS ON REFUGEES.”
Let’s be perfectly clear about something … no one is saying that we shouldn’t pray for refugees or that we shouldn’t help refugees. But this politicization and profanation of the sacred is destroying the faith, not building it. The point here is simply this: CRS, in its shameless self-promotion through the sacred, is cheapening the mystery of the mystical union of Divine Nature with Human Nature in the Incarnate Word.