Christmas Day | iPray with the Gospel
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled… And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”
Do you remember the holy eagerness of the patriarchs who sighed longingly for the coming of the Messiah? Blessed be our eyes because we see what many longed to see and never saw; we hear what many yearned to hear and never heard. Blessed are we who have seen God in a Baby; blessed are we who have met the Redeemer in a manger; blessed are we who contemplate Mary holding Salvation in her arms; blessed are we who stare at Joseph kissing the Son of God (who is also his adopted Son); blessed are we who hear the Angels singing; blessed are we who see the shepherds coming; blessed are we who have seen the promise fulfilled.
Today then is a day for contemplating, listening, singing… and loving. “Make your way to Bethlehem, go up to the Child, take him in your arms and dance, say warm and tender things to him, press him close to your heart…—I am not talking childish nonsense: I am speaking of love! And love is shown with deeds. In the intimacy of your soul, you can indeed hug him tight!” (St Josemaría). Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).