image Nativity and Adoration of the Shepherds

Domenico Ghirlandaio painted Nativity and Adoration of the Shepherds in 1485 for the Sassetti chapel in Santa Trinita in Florence. The focus is on the Christ child who is the subject of Mary’s loving gaze. Contrasting Mary’s devotion is Joseph’s concern for what is coming. Yes, the magi are on their way but so too are Herod’s men. This twin perspective of looking at the sacred and looking out for the events of the world is our challenge as Christians.

We are called to develop spiritual bifocals. Our gaze is on the Christ and yet we also look at the concerns of the world. As Catholic educators, we are attracted by divine beauty and propelled by our consciences to address the injustices of the world.

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