Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the shepherds’ faith.
Imagination: (Picture the shepherds adoring Jesus with Mary and Joseph).
The gospel stories are filled with people. Some respond to Jesus and others do not. Those who respond are always blessed. Here, the shepherds glorify God for all they saw and heard.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
After the angels departed into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this word that has come to pass.”
They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph together with the infant who was lying in the manger. When they saw, they understood what had been spoken to them about this child. All who heard, wondered at these things which the shepherds told them. Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them. When the eighth day arrived for his circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
1. Seeing the angels deeply affects the shepherds.
2. They encourage one another. They grow bold and do not fear the journey to Bethlehem.
3. They waste no time. Like Mary visiting Elizabeth, they go in haste.
4. When they see the child, they fully understand the angel’s words.
5. They are excellent witnesses, recounting to Mary and Joseph exactly what had happened.
6. Mary meditates on these events, cherishing God’s words and pondering their meaning.
7. Afterwards, the shepherds proclaim their experiences and glorify God who sent his angels.
8. Mary obeys Gabriel’s command and names her son, Jesus, the name that brings salvation to all.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Lord, fill me with religious experiences.
2. I will respond to your heavenly words and go in haste.
3. O Mary, give me your inner stillness.
4. Share with me your gift of pondering God’s word.
5. O Jesus, I will tell everyone of your wonders and your name will always be on my lips and in my heart.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will keep watch like the shepherds, ready to experience God’s manifestation.
2. When God tells me where to find Jesus, I will go in haste.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation) Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.