With not an ounce of admiration or affection, Fred and Pete sat looking at the Vatican’s 2020 Nativity scene.
“I have no clue what to do with this,” said Fred.
“Nor I,” said Pete.
“What were they thinking? Another faux pas for Papa Franco.”
“Faux pas? Is that all this is?” said Pete. “How about a middle finger from the Holy Father to all of us Latin-loving, conservative Catholics still faithful to the church? 2020 was trash, and he tops it off with 1960’s garbage in the middle of Rome. Goodness, at the Vatican, you would think beauty and reverence would reign on Christmas, of all times.”
“I know!” retorted Fred.
“I can think of a thousand Nativity Scenes that would have been better than this one. I can’t enter into the spirit of the Christmas season at all with this. There is a rich history of Nativities that they completely disregard.”
“Yes, I think of Caravaggio, von Honthorst, or even Giotto. Those are closer to the truth and beauty of Christmas.”
“Yeah. Get this, though: can you imagine if we could actually go back and see the original Christmas? Wouldn’t that be amazing? I mean, how moving would that be? To see the actual Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. That would be a spiritual experience, wouldn’t it?”
“Oh, that would be amazing! To kneel at the manger of the sleeping child. To see Mary’s glowing face looking in adoration at him. Joseph nearby. What a scene. If only.”….
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