Text Lc 2:1-14 (NAB-RE)
“2,1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. 9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.””
The Nativity of our Lord occurred over 2000 years ago. But a question still arises today. Does the Savior dwell in us, illuminate our lives and guide us in all circumstances of our existence? I would like to share with you three ideas of the Gospel: First, Jesus was born on a journey; then, his birth is unnoticed in the eyes of men; and finally, the advent of his coming into the world drives away fear, sadness, and brings joy and peace to humanity.
First, Mary gave birth to Jesus on a journey with Joseph to be enrolled in their own town; the holy family was far from home and its comfort. The birth of the Lord went unnoticed and in utter poverty. The announcement of the angel is a striking contrast between “a Savior who is Christ” and “a newborn swaddled and lying in a manger.” Our life is also a journey on this earth with its joy, its suffering, and finally, its confrontation with death. Let us recognize that we are on the road with our limitations and our needs to increase the desire to be inhabited and accompanied by Jesus who offers us peace, joy and eternal life.
Then, the coming of the Savior was unnoticed, no one recognized him. The angel of the Lord told the shepherds that good news. Nowadays we solemnly celebrate the Nativity of the Lord but worries and concerns could obscure his presence in our lives. Is Jesus at the center of our lives and does his teaching illuminate our daily lives? We are invited to be attentive to welcome the Lord.
Finally, the arrival of the Lord dispels fear, brings joy, peace and true life. It is about “joy for all the people” and "peace on earth”, that is, for humanity. It is the peace and joy of the Lord that come from above and announced by the angel. This gift of joy and peace does not eliminate the difficulties in our lives but its allows us to overcome all obstacles and hold fast our faith.
May the Nativity of the Lord help us get rid of bulky and unnecessary things during our journey on this earth, in order to be more attentive to recognize and welcome the Lord in our lives and especially to live the peace and joy of Jesus in all circumstances.
December 20, 2016