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Jesus is Born

The Nativity of the Lord

December 25, 2023




In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Seeking our Lady's intercession. Let us pray.

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee

Blessed art thou among women

and blessed is the fruit of the womb, Jesus,

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners

now and at the hour of our death.

Amen

 

Merry Christmas, brothers, and sisters. In this great day in which we celebrate our salvation, our savior coming into the world, it's very important that we take time and consider the manner in which he came. Now we all know the story. Like the back of our hand, right? Jesus was born in Bethlehem, even though Mary and Joseph were living in Nazareth. The reason is because Caesar had declared a census in the Roman Empire, in order to count all of the people to accumulate the census, it was required that you had to go back to your family, your tribe's original city, and be counted there. There was a lot of traveling throughout the Roman Empire at this time, especially in Judea and since Joseph was of the House of David and David's original city is Bethlehem, here is Mary nine months pregnant, and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. And imagine it was a, a several days journey already. And it made it even more challenging that Mary is ready to pop, as we say. They get there, and they have to be getting there probably later than the rest of the people returning to Bethlehem. It's not surprising that all of the ends, all of the spare rooms were full. Now, I just want you to imagine that your Joseph, your responsibility is to take care of the mother of God and Jesus Christ. The Son of God. Like your one job is to get them a nice, warm room where he can be born and you fail miserably, right? I like to picture him literally going from house to house. Just please. Please. My wife is ready to give birth. I just. We just need a place. Just any little corner of a room up sorrowful. Try the next house down. Right. And probably 4 hours he went on searching until finally, clearly, there's no room left some Good Samaritan soul says, well, I've got a barn in a cave out back. You know, besides the animals, nobody else is in it if you'd like.  Joseph, of course, realizes this must be the place. Clearly wasn't his plan. Right. He had no intention of the mother of God giving birth to the son of God amongst animals in the stable. It wasn't his plan. He failed at his one job and he brings them to this stable. I can only imagine the apologetic look on his face to Mary. Sorry, but you have to know something about Saint Joseph and the Blessed Mother, because they, among all believers, understood the Divine Providence. They understood that the will of God is not our always our will.  That God has plans, greater plans than we can imagine.  I know I absolutely know for certain that he and the Blessed Mother accepted this as the will of the Father. Clearly, they both did everything they could to find some room or house, and they failed. It's not like they failed because of some lack of effort on their part. They didn't even try. Their failure was part of God's plan so that his son would have to be born in a stable and laid in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. It was always the divine plan. And this is a such an important lesson for us as believers as well to learn. Most of the time we don't even do our best in life.

 

But even when we do so often, we fail, and we're tempted to think God has abandoned me. Where is the Lord? He clearly can't be found here in this stable. That couldn't have been his plan. Don't underestimate God's plans and don't underestimate his providence. We who share in the life of Jesus Christ in his body, the church share in that same divine providence.

 

There are no mistakes in our lives. Not with a God like ours. We have to remember this. Knowing that helps us rejoice that even in circumstances where it seems that we've failed, we can trust that the will of God has been accomplished. In hindsight, it's obvious why God wanted His son to be born in this stable and laid in a manger. All you have to do is known a few things. What does Bethlehem mean? House of Bread. That's the name of the city. The house of bread. And what is a manger? It's a feeding trough where animals eat. And who was laid in that manger? The bread of life. All of this was planned. All of it was arranged beforehand.  Our Lord wanted to show us his humility, how much he was willing to humble himself to draw near to us. In essence, his birth in Bethlehem is a precursor to his gift of to us in the Eucharist. He becomes the bread of us mere animals. He gives us his body and his blood. And he begins to reveal this mystery from the moment of his birth.  All of this arranged by his divine providence. And if we can learn to recognize the power of the divine providence in our own lives, especially in things that we can't control, we will begin to see the works of God more clearly and understand his will for us. But it takes tremendous faith, as Mary and Joseph had. Don't worry about succeeding or failing in anything that you attempt.  Consecrate everything to our Lord and allow His will to govern, whatever happens. And from that he will bring good. Because he said to us very clearly, all things work out to the good for those who love God in our called according to His plan.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen


Homily begins at 39:40




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