In our reading today, a census brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. How
often a simple, almost unseemly event brings us to a place unfamiliar,
sometimes unattractive, maybe even hostile and cold, only to have waiting
for us there, the experience of our most profound conversion or greatest
joy! The Lord leads us in ways we cannot comprehend.
Let us pray: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
LEADER: It was
the presence of the unfamiliar that alerted the shepherds to stop doing
the familiar and turn their attention to what they did not know.
Mary and Joseph, be our courage and guide along life's journey.
The shepherds brought the fullness of their attention and the depth of
their presence to the voices of the angelic choirs.
Mary and Joseph help us to attend to the prompting of grace.
It was in blind trust and expectant faith that the shepherds went in haste
and found all that the Lord had told them through the prophets.
Mary and Joseph, be our star as we journey in faith seeking the Lord.
Each person might write down his or her name and place of birth on a piece
of paper and place it on the prayer table, symbolic of the census taken
at the time of Jesus' birth.
Play soft music as each person enters into the ritual and journeys to
the prayer table. Suggested songs: Angels We Have Heard on High; Silent
The shepherds were graced to be where they were that holy night. They
were able to be part of the greatest moment the world has ever known.
We can expect the unexpected if we too alert our senses to the unfamiliar
around us! The shepherds' hearts were burning within them that night.
In a flash the stories told them long ago suddenly took on a whole new
dimensiona Savior was born; a son of David; a star in the heavens!
Could this possibly be that moment? What a challenge to their faith!
Christmas is not a dayit is an event! What have you been told about
the place, time, date, and circumstances of your birth? Write down what
you have been told and be mindful of the gratitude you owe your parents
who gave you life! You might choose to write a short prayer of gratitude
for your Christmas, your birth, and include a prayer of blessing for all
who will be born this day throughout the world. Lord, for the gift of
my birth, I . . .
Scripture reading for further reflection: Ezekiel 34:11-15
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William H. Sadlier, Inc.
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