Friday 18 December
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
The simple and humble birth of our Lord is the most remarkable moment in history. God became man and liberated us from the bondage of sin. He came to “bring glad tidings to the poor, and to proclaim liberty to captives” (see Lk 4:14-19). Christ our Savior was born and we are invited to live with him, and the Father and the Holy Spirit, for all of eternity.
Jesus is the “who” in all of history. We are invited every Advent to grow closer to the Third Person of the Trinity and not make Christmas “one more thing to do.” We have a growing trend in our culture where religion fits into our schedule versus scheduling our life around our Faith. More and more our sporting events, activities, and even family time, trump our time for Mass. Without receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we cannot experience His peace, grace, and the invitation to follow him.
This invitation is also present in the Sacred Heart Enthronement devotion. In this devotion, families are invited to welcome Jesus into their home each and every day. It helps us to see that Jesus is the solution to our difficulties, both ordinary and significant. He helps us carry our crosses, discover new solutions and see the good in everyone. Our journey through Advent is about growing closer to Jesus and learning to love with Divine Love. Even though we are imperfect, when we allow the Spirit of Jesus to burn through our weaknesses, we give Him honor for His humble birth. No matter where we celebrate Christmas, with friends and family or NOT, let us turn to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to be our guide.
As St. Matthew tells us, in quoting Isaiah, “the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” What more could we ask for?
Most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.