Christmas Vigil December 24, 2023

The Birth Of Jesus (Lk 2:1-14)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Take me to Bethlehem.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

Context:

                Throughout his gospel, Luke describes the historical setting. His purpose is subtle. He names Caesar Augustus to show that he is not as important as the Christ Child.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

                Caesar Augustus decreed that the whole world should be enrolled. Since Joseph was of the house of David, he left Nazareth and went to Bethlehem, the city of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child.

                While they were there, her days were accomplished. She brought forth her first born son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. In the same region were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone around them and they feared.

                The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you news of great joy for all the people. This day is born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.” Suddenly, a multitude of the heavenly army was praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Luke contrasts the powerful Caesar Augustus (who issues the decree) and the powerless parents, (subjected to the decree).
  2. God is really in charge. Long ago, he chose Bethlehem for the birth of his Son.
  3. Even from his birth in a manger, Jesus is marginal to society. Eventually the world will totally destroy him.
  4. God, however, tells the real story to shepherds.
  5. The heavens light up with angels.
  6. Someday, this Jesus, as Lord of lords, will establish his everlasting kingdom.
  7. Then, all the world will know who he is.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, all earthly power, honor and glory cannot compare with your Kingdom.
  • O God, give me the faith of Joseph and Mary. I will see your plan and obey fully.
  • O Jesus, I will go to tiny Bethlehem. Only at the margins of society, can I find you.
  • Send your angels to me, Lord.
  • What great mysteries you reveal in my heart!
  • O Mary, give me birth. Bring me forth to life everlasting.
  •  I am in your womb. Where else would I rather be?

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+  I will see God’s hand in all the events of this day.

+  I will set aside wealth and earthly glory today. I will choose to be marginal with Jesus.

Thought For The Day: (To recall your meditation.)

When her days were accomplished, she brought forth a son.