Christmas, the Birthday of Jesus

The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us. His mother Mary and St. Joseph had to leave their home in Nazareth and go to Bethlehem. 

This journey had to be made because the Roman emperor wanted a count of the number of his people. So every Jewish family had to go to the city of their ancestors. 

Since Mary and Joseph belonged to the royal family of David, they had to go to David's city of Bethlehem. The emperor had made the law, but this law helped to fulfill God's plan. The Bible said that the Savior was to be born in Bethlehem. 

It was a slow, hard journey for Mother Mary as they had to travel over hilly country. But Mary was calm and peaceful. She knew she was doing God's will. She was happy thinking of her Divine Son soon to be born. 

When Mary and Joseph reached Bethlehem, they found that there was no place for them to stay. At last, they found shelter in a cave. There, in that rough stable, the Son of God was born on Christmas Day. 

His Blessed Mother wrapped him up warmly and laid him in a manger. Baby Jesus chose to be born poor so that we would learn that riches and comforts are not important at all. 

The night that Jesus was born, God sent his angels to announce his birth. The angels were not sent to the emperor or the king. They were not sent even to the learned doctors and chief priests. They were sent to poor, humble shepherds. 

These men were watching their flocks on the hillside near Bethlehem. As soon as they heard the angels' message, they hurried to adore the Savior of the world. Then they went home giving praise and glory to God.
The great prophets of the Old Testament had been comforted by the thought that someday the Savior would come into the world. Now he had been born among us. Christ came for all of us. 

The Bible says: "God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son." If those who lived in the hope of his coming were happy, we must rejoice much, much more because we know that as always, God had kept his wonderful promise. 

We have Jesus' teachings, his Church and Jesus himself on our altars at every Mass. Christmas is the time when we realize more than ever how much God loves us. 

Reflection: Today we can give grateful thanks to God for the gift of the Incarnation: God-with-us.

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