In the liturgical year, we have now gone through Advent – the time of preparation for the sacred birth – and have arrived at Christmas, the time of celebration of the coming of Jesus. It is a time of great joy, since God has sent his Son to live among us.
Many families have a crèche, or manger scene, in their homes in which figures representing the holy family gather around the newly born Christ Child. Crèches may feature shepherds, angels and the Magi approaching a barn or cave. The image displayed at right shows an outside crèche lit up at night outside Morrow Park.
Christmas Reflection: Today is born our Saviour!
"Good news and great joy to all the world,
today is born our Saviour, Christ the Lord"
Christmas — more than a package: an offer, a mystery, and a birth more precious than any gift, and given freely.
From the bible: Matthew — 1:18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
No text or tweet has brought with it such startling joyous news as the Angel’s announcement to Mary and Joseph - the birth of the Messiah! Christmas is not just a day which recalls an historical event. We celebrate the fact that God has come among us, to guide us, love us, encourage us and forgive us. Emmanuel, God-with-us!
Do ask yourself: Is there 'clutter' in your heart or environment that is preventing you from deeply hearing the God News?!
Lord, thank you for coming to save us from our sins and limitations. Thank you for choosing to work through human history and for being present to us daily in so many, many wonderful ways! Help me to trust in You always and not in the shifting sands of my feelings. Teach me, as you did Mary and Joseph, to trust and believe in the rock-hard facts of your goodness and love for me. Emmanuel, God-with-us!