In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest/ and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
JESUS: THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER. The people of God have seen a great light. The prophet Isaiah identifies this light to be the Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
When Mary gives birth to Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea, it is another ordinary day to most people. The town is teeming with travelers who have come to enlist in the census. No inn welcomes the couple Joseph and Mary, yet it is in Bethlehem, literally “the House of Bread,” where Jesus is born. Later, he will refer to himself as the “Bread of Life.” The baby Jesus is born in a manger where animals feed from the stable. As a grown-up, Jesus will offer himself as the true Bread, the source and fullness of life!
The shepherds, considered rascals and social outcasts, are the first to behold and give homage to the Child Jesus. An angel announces to them the birth of the Savior, and to their great surprise they see a multitude of angels in the heavens and hear them sing: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The prophet Isaiah describes the birth of the Savior in colorful images. He compares it to harvest time, as people partake of the land’s bounty. The prophet likens it also to the joy shared by people dividing the spoils of battle. For who indeed will not rejoice at the realization that the Son of God has descended to earth from heaven to dwell among us? The Apostle Paul declares: Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good” (Ti 2:14).
We all can thus consider Jesus’ birth as our best Christmas gift ever.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.