This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Filled with hope, we began this Advent season to prepare our lives for the second coming of Christ. As we begin the fourth and final week of Advent, we now are ready to be still and take in the miracle of His birth.
As the St. Andrew Novena calls to mind, we can imagine Mary seeking a warm and safe place to give birth only to find a stable with a floor of hay, as the only shelter on that piercing cold night. The ancient hymn shares that quiet anticipation “silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.” After the journey, came the quiet waiting as we too are waiting for the birth of Our Savior.
While our journey this season may have been from store to store or website to website searching for the right gift, we too must find time for quiet, reflective wonder at the miracle birth and how centuries later, it remains the greatest gift of love the world has ever received. That gift is God, the creator of the universe, becoming man to save us from our sin.
This week, dedicate some time, in the silence of our hearts, to quietly reflect on this season. Reflect with gratitude on the blessings in your life and the opportunities for God, the savior of the world, to be part of your life after Christmas and each day in the New Year.
The time is drawing near. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert
Download the Fourth Week of Advent Calendar by clicking here.