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The Poor Humble Shepherds

     For Christmas Eve and Christmas day the church gives us four different options for readings and prayers. They are split up into different sections based on the time of the day. For instance, Christmas Day has 3 options: Mass at night, Mass at Dawn, and Mass during the day. The readings for the masses take us on the journey of that most holy evening. The Christmas Gospels begins with the ancestry of Christ going back to Abraham. Then on Christmas day we are following along the journey of the Shepherds. 

     On this very day we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world. We have prepared for the past four weeks for this very moment- the moment when Christ is born into the stable of our hearts. The very first people to see him were the shepherds- one of the most culturally devalued people of the time. They were uneducated, poor, and were classified as thieves. The humble, poor shepherds were chosen to adore the king. Not another king or rich person, not the Pharisees and scribes, but rather some simple shepherds, who would truly adore Jesus

     For the birth of the king, you would expect some gifts to be given. But what gifts did the shepherds bring? They brought the gift of their own heart to Jesus. They gave him their own heart has a special gift. Truly, that is the best gift anyone can give to the Lord. The heart is a place of love, commitment and belonging. When we open the gates of our heart to God, we are allowing him to come into our lives, we are telling God that we love him and are committed to him. 

     This Christmas we are challenged to let God in our hearts. To open the gates of our heart and allow Mary and Joseph to take rest there. Every action we do pour forth from our heart. Advent has been the time to prepare our hearts for the coming of the king, and now that Christmas is here, we allow Christ to be born.

     God is pure love. When we allow Jesus to be born into our hearts, we allow love to be born into our hearts. Christ is always willing to out pour his love freely into our lives. It is our duty then if we are willing to accept this love and to spread this love to others. By helping the poor, being sincere in compliments, packing hampers, donating our time to others, listening to friends, smiling… are all ways we spread this love to others.

     This Christmas Season, may we come, like the simple humble shepherds, to adore Christ, the king. May we come to open our hearts to Christ to Mary and Joseph, allowing them to take rest in our hearts. In the wood of the Manger Christ is laid, May we come and adore Christ the Child king, born in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!


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