Merry Christmas and Blessings this New Year, 2018!
Blessings this Christmas season from the Sisters of Our Mother of Divine Grace!
If you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you would have read the sermon from Saint Augustine, during the Office of the Readings on Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite readings during this special season.
Saint Augustine reminds us that we must awaken ourselves and realize that for our sake God has become man. We would have been lost had God not hastened to our aid. Each one of us can echo these sentiments. He goes on to tell us that Christ has become our justice, our sanctification, and our redemption, so; Let him who glories glory in the Lord. Christ is our Truth who has risen from the earth, He who was born of a Virgin. And believing in this new born Child, man is justified not by himself but by God.
Truth has arisen from the earth, and justice has looked down from heaven! The Word took on our flesh, and from Him all good gifts, every perfect gift flows. So justified by faith, let us be at peace with God! Justice and peace have embraced one another. We glory not of ourselves but in the Truth who this day has come among us! With the angelic voices we should cry: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests! Christ is our peace "who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity."
This is our prayer today for all. Rejoice and celebrate the love of so good a God who was born to unite us to Himself, now and throughout eternity. Many blessings upon you and your family this Christmas, 2013.
Come Let us Adore Him!
"Christmas is an encounter! It's a journey to encounter Him, to find Him through our hearts and our lives. To find the living God and to find Him through faith. It's not easy to live with faith. In today's Gospel, the Lord was struck by the faith of this centurion. He was moved by his faith. He had embarked on a journey to encounter the Lord, but it was a journey of faith. So, he not only found the Lord, but he also felt the joy of being found by the Lord. This is precisely the encounter we seek. An encounter of faith.” (Pope Francis)
It is characteristic of the Gospels that they greatest events are told in the fewest words and with the utmost simplicity. What does St. Luke tell us about the birth of Christ?
First that "there was no room for them in the inn." No room in Bethlehem, or all of Palastine for that matter. And today seems to be no exception. There seems to be no room for Him in our own world, nor in the hearts and lives of men. But this must be a personal question.....is there room for Him in my life?
Well, we conclude that there was some shelter although St. Luke does not mention it exactly. He tell us that He was born and "wrapped in swalldling cloths and laid in a manger because there was no room in the inn.". Now that He is born, we can kneel beside Him with Mary and Joseph, and the many other spiritual souls who recognize their God in these circumstances. We can learn from Mary, who He is and how He should be treated. We can say with St. John, "As many as received Him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, to them that believed in His name."
Then we turn to Matthew and discover the mysterious Magi from the East who come to offer their gifts, "for we have seen His star in the East, and we have come to adore Him." Who were they? From where did they come? We do not know exactly, but we do know that out of the darkness there came a light. Out of the darkness these strangers to the Jewish customs, came in search of this light. That light, that star led them to the Child Jesus who they hailed as King and offered their gifts of gold, francensience and myrhh. Call it faith, or providence, their search was rewarded because their eyes beheld the Light of Life, Christ the Lord. Am I following the star that will lead me to Christ?
Christ be my Light in the path of darkness and lead me to Your light of truth and love!
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (2:10). It is the joy of one whose heart has received a ray of God’s light and who can now see that his hope has been realized—the joy of one who has found what he sought, and has himself been found." (Infancy Narratives, Pope Benedict, XVI)
Epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to all mankind. Even as an Infant, Christ was drawing all to Himself, calling all, even those who were not from Israel. He calls us to oneness in Himself, a unity of love that binds us closer to Him and one another.
Truth has arisen from the earth, and justice looked down from heaven!
God has created each one of us uniquely to praise and glorify Him with our lives. We should in turn respond to His love by using well the talents He has given us, by finding our complete joy in Him, adoring Him in His Sacramental presence and in His holy will, and loving and serving Him in our neighbors. We can most perfectly renew these acts of self-giving in union with Mary, His Holy Mother, who said "yes" to the designs of God in her own life. Let us with Mary, adore Him in the manger at Bethlehem knowing that this path will lead us to stand by her at the foot of the cross, and ultimately to share in eternal life hereafter.
Each day at Holy Mass offer yourself and your gifts to the Father, in union with the Son, who came to us on this first Christmas night!