“The revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed.” What "mystery" is St. Paul talking about? Simply, I think he is referring the one who, as St. John tells us, was "in the beginning;" the one who became flesh and was born in small corner of the earth some 2,000 years ago. And the one who is now mysteriously embodied in the celebration of the Eucharist and in the life of his Church today. Of course, I'm talking about Jesus.
Yet, as easy as it was to identify to what--better yet, to whom--St. Paul was referring, I, nonetheless, think there might be some difficulty in believing that God is truly among us today.
Did you know that the nativity scene, or the créche, was introduced about 800 years ago by St. Francis of Assisi to teach that very idea? In this video, Alexander J. Shaia explains to us the embedded Gospel (good news) message originally intended in the manger scene and how it teaches us a theological truth about God's relationship to us today more than it teaches about the historical events of the past.
Whether or not you own a créche in your home, I know that they are all around us, in our neighbor's yards, and on the cover of the Christmas cards. My prayer is that as you see those over the next few days, you will truly come to know the mystery that God is truly present with us at all times, but even more so in our darkest ones.