Sunday, December 02, 2012

The ox and the ass...

A few weeks ago, the media made a fuss over the Holy Father pointing out, in his latest book about our Lord, that there is no mention in the Gospel of animals being present for the birth of our Lord.

Oh! Crisis! We shouldn't have animals in our nativity scenes! So said the pope!


He's just pointing out, accurately, that the Gospels aren't the source for this. So what is?

Here's the first reading for the first Office of Readings for Advent--that is, for today:

(From the beginning of the book of the prophet Isaiah...)

The vision which Isaiah, son of Amoz, 
had concerning Judah and Jerusalem 
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for the Lord speaks: 
Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me! 
An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master’s manger
But Israel does not know, my people has not understood.

P.S. If you google "Nativity ox ass" you will see plenty of classic depictions of this from the treasury of Western art. However, you may get a prompt that I got: warning, this search may return adult content"! In my case, it did not, but fair warning!