"And the glory of the Lord shone around them" (Lk 2:9). "The swaddling clothes of an infant hid the Son of God in Bethlehem, and the appearance of bread and wine hides the Reality of Christ" (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).
"There is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived 'through the Holy Spirit' was 'the Son of God' (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. "'Blessed is she who believed' (Lk 1:45). Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church's Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a 'tabernacle'--the first 'tabernacle' in history--in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?" (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 55).
"This is the great reality of Christian history: Jesus, the sacred host, the Bread of life, in the midst of his Church. This is that brightest star which enables us to look forward with great confidence to the future kingdom of Christ. And as we bless and adore Jesus in the most holy Eucharist we wish to raise our hearts in trustful prayer to Mary, his sweet Mother, and our Mother too. "So let us turn to her as our own dear Mother. It is she who bore and presented to the world Jesus, our Redeemer and Saviour . . . . We worship Jesus in the holy Eucharist: God with us! God with us!" (Pope Bl. John XXIII).
Christmas Meditation "Before whom am I? You are, Holy Church answers me, in the presence of Jesus Christ, your King, your Savior, and your God. "Adore Him, O my soul, with the faith of the man born blind, when on recognizing his benefactor he prostrated himself before Jesus and adored Him most humbly. Adore him with the faith of Saint Thomas and say like him: 'My Lord and my God.' "But I do not see Jesus like the disciple in the Cenacle; that is true, but our Savior says that they are happier who believe without having seen with their eyes or touched with their hands! "The Church shows me my Savior and my God veiled under the form of a host--as the Precursor showed Him under the form of a simple man, lost in the midst of the crowd, as Mary showed Him to the Magi under the form of a little child. "Adore Him therefore, O my soul, with the faith of the kings of Bethlehem. Offer Him the incense of your adoration, as to your God; the myrrh of your mortification, as to your Savior; the gold of your love and the tribute of dependence, as to your King!"
(St. Peter Julian Eymard)
St. Nicholas, Bishop, Patron of Children and Russia, Myra (4th century)--Dec. 6 "Christian faith acknowledges not a nostalgic dream, but a real human presence. As we celebrate today the feast of St. Nicholas, let us see past the sentimental myth, the nostalgic dream we call Santa Claus, and let us give thanks for the real life of a holy bishop of the fourth century, a holy man whose life was lived in recognition of the real presence of Jesus Christ. Let us follow St. Nicholas in witnessing to the Presence of Christ, which is not a seasonal sentiment, but an event which we encounter and live today and forever" (Fr. Richard Veras). St. Juan Diego, Visionary of Guadalupe, Mexico (1474-1548)--December 9 "A peasant named Juan Diego saw before him, on the rugged slopes of Tepeyac hill, the Virgin Mary bathed in supernatural radiance. 'I ardently desire' she said, 'that a church be built here.' Right from the start, then, God's mother indicated the Eucharistic orientation of her mission. Very significantly, too, Juan Diego was at the time making his way to Mass" (Fr. Richard Foley, S.J.). Our Lady of Guadalupe, Miracles and Conversions, Mexico--Dec. 12, 1531 St. Lucy, Virgin, Martyr and Patroness of Eye Patients, Italy (d. 304)--Dec. 13 As a youth, St. Lucy dedicated her life to God. When she would not marry, she was tried for being a Christian. True to the end, St. Lucy chose death over sin. Though pierced in the heart with a sword, she did not die until she received Holy Communion. Christmas! They found Mary, Joseph and the baby lying in the manger--Dec.25 "My Jesus, He is sleeping, o come behold Him, o come behold Him . . . . Fair as violets and roses, Baby beguiling, Say what visions surround Thee, why art Thou smiling? Ah, what appears before Thee, Infant so lowly? Softly Thy sweet lips murmur: 'Sacrament Holy'" (A la Nanita Nana, Spanish Carol). Feasts of the Holy Family and the Holy Innocents--Dec. 28 "In every Holy Communion, Jesus the Word becomes Flesh in our life, a special, delicate, beautiful gift of God . . . The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things--to love and to be loved. Where will you get the joy of loving?--in the Eucharist, Holy Communion. Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that adoration" (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta). St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr, England (1118-1170)--Dec. 29 Lawyer, soldier, and Chancellor of England, St. Thomas suffered exile and martyrdom for the faith. He was murdered at the altar of the Cathedral. He wrote, "For our sake Christ offered himself to the Father upon the altar for the cross . . . . It must therefore be our endeavor to destroy the right of sin and death, and by nurturing faith and uprightness of life, to build up the Church of Christ into a holy temple of the Lord."
We wish you a Blessed Christmas Season and a Joyous New Year! O Come Let Us Adore Him!
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