Intention: We pray for a joyous and transforming Christmastime for our world, one that fills it with peace, justice, and good will toward all.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 2:1-14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
From the Meditation for the Nativity of Jesus Christ | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Today Jesus Christ is born poor in a stable. The Most Blessed Virgin brings him into the world in a place where she finds no comfort or any human help and where there is no other bed for this newborn Child than a manger. Behold the palace and the bed for presenting Jesus our Savior on his entry into the world! This is how he is lodged in the middle of the night in a very rigorous season. Despite his pressing needs, no one goes to any trouble to help him.
The poverty that Jesus practices so eminently at his birth ought to commit us to have great love for this virtue, for it is to make us love it that he is born in this condition. Let us not be surprised, then, when we lack something, even necessities, for at his birth, Jesus was lacking everything. This is how we must be born in the spiritual life, dispossessed and deprived of everything. Because the Son of God willed that the humanity he took on be in this condition, he also wants us to share this disposition, so that he can take entire possession of our hearts.
Eternal Father, today we remember the birth of your Son and the miracle of your divine love coming to live with us. We give you thanks and praise for your wondrous grace, and we pray that we will honor Christmas always. Help us to see Jesus born every day in one another, especially in the poor, the suffering, the excluded, and all who you have entrusted to our care. May your light shine all around us, illuminating for us the wonder and sacredness of your creation. Open our hearts to the gift of Christmas, through which you tell us that we are yours and we are loved. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.