By Mary Sayad
"Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 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. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
The above quoted scripture describes the miracle of the birth of Jesus, the son of God. It was a simple scene of a poor family surviving a governed decree. Joseph and Mary traveled for approximately five days with a donkey and on foot. They didn't have the convenience of a warm, comfortable car. Their lodgings were crude and basic. In those days luxary hotels with all the amenities were not available. A very young and a very expectant mother endured much hardship while traveling to Bethlehem. Her humility and obedience never waned. At the time of the divine birth of Jesus, Mary was twelve, and no more than thirteen years old. She was a child by today's standards.
Isaiah 9:6 NIV "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus, the son of God was born in a cave and he was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The world's Creator and Designer was born to a humble family in a homeless setting. The shepherds in the fields nearby were the first to visit Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They too, were poor, yet they believed and accepted the miraculous birth of the savior of the world.
Genesis 3:15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."
The interpretation of this passage is more than hostility between snakes and man. Because the Son of God appeared that he might destroy the works of the devil, this passage can be understood as the first promise of a Redeemer of fallen mankind. The woman's (Mary) offspring is Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.
By the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family brought light to this world. The darkness has been dispelled and we are the recipients of our Heavenly Father's love. Indeed, this is a time of rejoicing for through Jesus, Mary and Joseph's obedience, we have received the gift of eternal salvation.
We should always emulate the Holy Family's love, humility and perseverance. Through daily prayer of the rosary, we relive the life of Jesus and Mary and we perpetuate their sacrifices and their peace. "Families that pray together, stay together." By immersing our thoughts with the unceasing presence of Jesus and Mary, we nourish our faith and grow deeper in spirituality.
O God, our Father, bless families today
that they may live like the Holy Family of
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, united in joy and in love.
Teach us now and always through the Holy Family
of Bethlehem and Nazareth the sanctity of human love,
the value of family life and the blessings
of forgiveness and peace. Amen
May you and your families enjoy a blessed Christmas filled with joy and love!
Your companion in prayer,