The Annunciation

Don't forget, my friend, that we are children. The Lady of the sweet name, Mary, is absorbed in prayer.

You, in that house, can be whatever you wish: a friend, a servant, an onlooker, a neighbour.... For the moment, I don't dare to be anything. I hide behind you; full of awe, I watched what’s happening:

The Archangel delivers his message.... But how can this come about, since I am a virgin? (Lk 1:34).

Our Mother's voice reminds me -by contrast- of all the impurities of men..., mine too.

And then how I hate the low, mean things of the earth.... What resolutions!

Let it done to me according to your word (Lk 1:38). At the enchantment of this virginal phrase, the Word became flesh.

The first decade is about to end.... I still have time to tell my God, before anyone else does: “Jesus, I love you.”

 

The Visitation

By now, my little friend, you have no doubt learned to manage on your own. Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary company... and you will hear the traditions of the House of David:

You will hear of Elizabeth and Zachary, you will be moved by Joseph's pure love, and your heart will pound whenever they mention the Child who will be born in Bethlehem.

We walk in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Lk 1:39).

We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. -Elizabeth gratefully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I we honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? (Lk 1:42-43)

The unborn Baptist quivers... (Lk 1:41) Mary's humility pours forth in the Magnificat.... And you and I, who are proud -who were proud- promise to be humble.

 

The Birth of Our Lord

Caesar Augustus has issued a decree for a census to be taken of the whole world. For this purpose everyone must go to the city of his ancestors. And since Joseph belongs to the house and line of David, he goes with the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to the town of David called Bethlehem in Judea (Lk 2:1-5).

And in Bethlehem is born our God: Jesus Christ! There is no room at the inn; he is born in a stable. And his Mother wraps him in swaddling clothes and lays him in a manger (Lk 2:7).

Cold. Poverty.... I am Joseph's little servant. How good Joseph is! He treats me like a son. He even forgives me if I take the Child in my arms and spend hour after hour saying sweet and loving things to him.

And I kiss him -you kiss him too!- and I rock him in my arms, and I sing to him, and I call him King, Love, my God, my Only-one, my All!... How beautiful is the Child... and how short the decade!

 

The Presentation

When the time has come for the Mother's purification, in accordance with the Law of Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord (Lk 2:22).

This time it will be you, my friend, who carries the cage with the doves. Just think: She -Mary Immaculate!- submits to the Law as if she were defiled.

Through this example, foolish child, won’t you learn to fulfil the holy law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?

Purification! You and I certainly do need purification. Atonement and, more than atonement, love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our soul’s uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretchedness of our hearts.

An upright and devout man has come to the Temple, led by the Holy Spirit (it had been revealed to him that he would not die until he had set eyes on the Christ); he takes the Messiah into his arms and says to him: Now, My Lord, you can let your servant go from this world in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the Savior (Lk 2:25-30).

 

The Finding in the Temple

Where is Jesus? The Child, my Lady!, where is he?

Mary is crying. In vain you and I have run from group to group, from caravan to caravan: no one has seen him. Joseph, after fruitless attempts to keep from crying, cries too.... And you.... And I.

Being a common little fellow, I cry my eyes out and wail to heaven and earth..., to make up for those times when I lost him through my own fault and did not cry.

Jesus: may I never lose you again....

Now you and I are united in misfortune and grief, as we were united in sin. And from the depth of our being come sighs of heartfelt sorrow and burning phrases that the pen cannot and should not record.

And, once we are consoled by the joy of finding Jesus -three days he was gone!- debating with the teachers of Israel (Lk 2:46), your and I shall be left deeply impressed by the duty to leave our home and family to serve our heavenly Father.