Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Midnight

Luke 2:1-14

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Antoinette Tombozi

Published: December 25, 2014


Today in the city of David “a Savior is born for us.” Isn’t this child, born for us, a gift, par excellence? This child is a visible sign of the invisible love of two beings, but more still, the future of all people. His birth brings great joy to all the people! Each and every child is a gift of love for all! The Scripture is so right in proclaiming: “a child is given to us,” because the Child is the future, the hope and a promise.

God comes into the world, this world which is his; this decision in love surpasses our intelligence. He comes to be born again with us. Being born is not being able to be alone and self-sufficient. Being born is to become vulnerable and dependent. This means that God is saying to us: I am not able to live without you; I am not able to define myself without you. This does mean that my life is in your hands. Today. on the first Christmas Day, the hands of Mary and Joseph encircle Jesus and hold him; tomorrow, there will be other hands to lift him up. Today, Quirinius, the Governor, ignores everything about him; tomorrow, Pontius Pilate, the Procurator, will take power over him. Jesus says to us: My life is in your hands, my joys and my troubles, my cares and my hopes. God has come to build his life with us, “the shepherds of Bethlehem.”

Dear Friends, Sisters, and People in our World:
In order to enter into the mystery of Christmas, we need to begin by getting our minds, hearts and souls into a good spirit, and opening ourselves to the one who comes to knock at the door of our hearts. If we refuse to welcome the Holy Family, as did the innkeepers in Bethlehem, if we refuse to find a place in our lives for them, we risk pushing aside the mystery of Christmas. If, on the contrary, we a have a real desire, on this Christmas Day, to approach the Infant Jesus, all we need to do is to follow the example of the shepherds of Bethlehem. They were the first to recognize the Savior of the world. Follow them, imitate them and they will lead us to the Holy Family. St. Luke says to us: “There were in the region shepherds who were in the fields keeping the night watch over their flock.” To be a shepherd, you have to live in the fields, which implies that you need to accept being dependent on God and recognize that you receive all from God.

To be a shepherd, in order to welcome the Infant Jesus, we must first be humble and little. We need to recognize our poverty, sinfulness, our interior darkness, In order to welcome our Savior, we must recognize our need of being saved, being forgiven and freed from all evil.

To be a shepherd, we must learn to guard our flock during the evening hours and the night-time, to enter into an interior attitude of watching and prayer. To guard our flock means remaining faithful to the promise of our Baptism, to watch over also the souls the the Lord has confided to us, the littlest ones living in poverty, as St. Julie Billiart , the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame called them.

To be a shepherd means to recognize this voice of the angel of the Lord who comes to tell us: “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 the Messiah and Lord.“ Do not be afraid to turn toward the word of God which the Church herself brings. Let us meditate in our hearts and let ourselves be transformed by this word.

To be a shepherd is to know how to get on the road, to leave the field of our own habits, to move with God towards the unknown. It is accepting and allowing ourselves to be surprised, to be shaken by the way that God choses to reveal himself in us. To imitate the shepherds is accepting the fact that God reveals himself not in the king’s palace but in the heart of the interior poverty in our spiritual life.

Let us ask Mary and Joseph, her chaste spouse to teach us how to enter into this Christmas mystery with an open and trusting heart. We ask that Jesus, the Good Shepherd take us onto his shoulders to lead us to the house of our good God!

 

 

 

 

 

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