When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
Merry Christmas to you and your families! This is a time to rejoice in the love that God has for us. Throughout the Old Testament God reached out to His people in love through His prophets. Many of them were killed and many were ignored. So God sent His only Son into the world to save us, trusting that we would certainly listen to Him. Of course, Jesus was killed and many of us still ignore Him.
But this is a day to marvel at the incredible love God the Father has for us. He was willing to give us Jesus. And He was born to us as a humble child in a manger in a town named Bethlehem. Bethlehem means “house of bread”. So Jesus, the Bread of Life, was born in a feeding trough in a town called the “house of bread”. Jesus showed us His intent, to give His life as a ransom for many. He was born as a helpless child and eventually gave His life selflessly on the cross. He showed us how to live and how to die.
So what should this day mean to us?
- Make Jesus the focus of our lives and not the material things that dominate Christmas. These things all fade away. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the Word made flesh and God expressed to us everything He could in Jesus.
- Try to grow in humility every day. Jesus came to do the will of the Father and give glory to Him. May every moment of our lives do the same.
- Try to love sacrificially. We are hard-wired to lay down our lives for others. When we serve others we feel better. That is because God designed us to serve not to be served. With every decision you make, try laying down your life for Jesus and for others.
- Go to Mass as often as possible. Many of us have become spiritual but we don’t do to church. Jesus wants to give us Himself in the Eucharist to feed our soul. Take advantage of this amazing gift at Mass as often as possible. We hear the Word of God proclaimed and received the Bread of Life. What can be more beautiful than that?
- Take time to praise and adore Jesus daily. Let God love you by reflecting on the extent He went to save you. Spend quality time in prayer every day for this relationship with the Lord will sustain you.
Have a Merry Christmas!