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The Nativity of the Lord

Nativity of the Lord, Christmas

First Reading: Isaiah 62:11-12

See, the LORD proclaims
to the ends of the earth:
say to daughter Zion,
your savior comes!
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
They shall be called the holy people,
the redeemed of the LORD,
and you shall be called “Frequented,”
a city that is not forsaken.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12

R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.

Second Reading: Titus 3:4-7

Beloved:
When the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
He saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel: Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

NAB

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The Season of Christmas is a crazy time in our household. We have all the traditional Catholic celebrations, plus two kids’ birthdays and a New Year’s Day party. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and stress . . . the food and the drinks and the gifts and the parties. Today’s Gospel provides us with a great reminder to take a step back.

Put yourself in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s sandals. You have just given birth to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You didn’t give birth in some grand palace or some private hospital. You are in a stable with livestock, but you still know that this is the King in your arms. You know this because the Angel told you—so you are pretty confident. Then all of a sudden you hear them. They are coming. A ruckus crowd of shepherds, who have themselves just been told by Angels that your baby is King. They come and seek your baby to confirm the Angel’s story and give homage and then spread the word. Here they are “amazed” in your little borrowed stable.

And, as the Gospel tells us, rather than getting caught up in the excitement of the moment, our Mother adopts a reflective heart. Breathes. Takes it all in. Smiles and responds lovingly to those around you. She reflected on these things in her heart, not her head.

To reflect on something in your heart rather than your head means to think less and listen more. Get out of your own head and let the Holy Spirit settle into your heart. That is where you will hear Him. Don’t listen with your ears; listen with your heart.

Today is a day of great joy and excitement, so I challenge you to find time to be like Mary today amidst the fuss. Take time for quiet to just watch the beauty around you and breathe it all in. Take time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and what it really means in your life today. Most importantly, connect with Mary or Jesus and the Holy Spirit in prayer, and ask them to help you see intimately what Jesus’s arrival means to you.

Reflect on these things in your heart, not your head.

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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