ON CHRISTMAS DAY:
CONTEMPLATING THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
“This day shall light shine upon us; for the Lord is born to us.”
“This is the great announcement that moves Christians today. Through them it is addressed to all mankind. God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God, when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul (St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, n. 12).”
A few years back, I was saddened upon reading in a newspaper the results of a survey here in Spain where 96% consider Christmas only as an occasion for family reunions and whereas, only 15% consider it as a religious feast. For us, Christians, we want that “Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God”. For this, we need to “allow his light and grace to enter deep in our soul”. How? First, through the sacrament of CONFESSION and then, through PERSONAL PRAYER.
- As regards to prayer, St. Josemaria used to say the Bethlehem is the SCHOOL where the Child Jesus wants to teach us a lot of lessons.
- In order to benefit spiritually from these holy festivities, it is good for us to pause and dedicate some time to consider and contemplate in our personal prayer what God wants to teach us from the crib, but above all to get to know Our Lord more and better, in order to fall in love with Jesus and imitate Him.
- It is not insignificant that God chose to be born in a small, unknown city, more so in a damp and dark stable, for there was no room for Him at the inn. If we are constant in our prayer, employing our imagination, our mind and heart, and considering ourselves as one of the persons in the Nativity scene, we can not only learn a lot from the Holy Family, but will also have an intimate relationship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Important lessons on humility, discretion, total poverty, self-giving, service, love…which we can educe from the environment of Bethlehem.
“You must look at the Child in the manger. He is our Love. Look at him, realizing that the whole thing is a mystery. We need to accept this mystery on faith and use our faith to explore it very deeply. To do this, we must have the humble attitude of a Christian soul. Let us not try to reduce the greatness of God to our own poor ideas and human explanations. Let us try to understand that this mystery, for all its darkness, is a light to guide men’s lives (St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 13).”
Dear friends, “Jesus was born in a cave in Bethlehem because, Sacred Scripture tells us, “there was no room for them in the inn.” I am not departing from theological truth when I say that Jesus is still looking for shelter in your heart (St. Josemaria, Forge 274).”
Let us then ask the help of Our Lady and St. Joseph so that we may have the courage to remove all the interior obstacles which prevent His presence in our soul and the generosity to put all the means at our reach in order to seek, find and fall in love Baby Jesus who awaits us to carry Him with our arms, without feeling ashamed to kiss, hug and caress Him who is in need of our love, tenderness, attention, care and protection.
Cordially inviting you to visit and like our FB page in www.fb.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness or sign-up to our website, www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com, so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.
PHOTO SOURCE: Juan Maíno, “Adoración de los Pastores” in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Adoraci%C3%B3n_de_los_pastores_(Ma%C3%ADno).jpg