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The Birth of Our Lord Jesus - The Nativity

3rd Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

Scriptural Rosary       

Now at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census - the first - took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David's House and line, in order to be registered together 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 a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, "Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour."

Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord made known to us." So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told. (Luke 2: v 1-20)

Meditation: Today we have come to worship our Saviour in the arms of his Mother, like the Christmas shepherds. Imitating Joseph we have tried to prepare the shelter where He is to be laid. We are to be that crib unworthy of Jesus, but beautified and made holy by Mary's presence. Jesus, as Mary enters our lives, may you be born in the silence of our hearts.

Eternal Father, through the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you offered mankind the treasures of eternal salvation. Grant that we may feel her presence and know her help, she who has allowed us to receive the Author of Life, Jesus Christ.

Mary, my Mother, in you the Word was made flesh. May this same Word transform my life into something beautiful for God.

Our Father ... Hail Mary (x10) ... Glory be ... O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven especially those who have most need of thy mercy.

La Nascita di Gesù nella grotta di Betlemme       
Terzo Mistero Gaudioso del Santo Rosario

El nacimiento de Jesús en el portal de Belén       
Tercer Misterio Gozoso del Santo Rosario

La Naissance de Jésus à Bethléem       
Troisième Mystère Joyeux du Saint Rosaire avec Sr Hyacinthe OP

Third Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary with Sr Hyacinthe OP       

with Westminster Cathedral Rosary Group     

The Nativity - As we contemplate now the Holy Family in Bethlehem and the birth of our Saviour, let us pray for all the families in our parish and especially for any families we know who are facing difficulties. May they draw close to the Holy Family and we ask you, Lord, to pour out your blessing on them.

And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Catechesis with Pope Benedict XVI

He was made man      

"The Logos, who is with God, the Logos who is God, the Creator of the world (cf Jn 1, 1), for whom all things were created (cf Jn 1, 3), who has accompanied and accompanies men in their history with his light (cf Jn 1, 4-5; 1, 9), became one among others, took up his dwelling amongst us, becoming one of us (cf Jn 2, 14). The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council affirms: “The Son of God... worked with the hands of a man, he thought with the intelligence of a man, he acted with the will of a man, he loved with heart of a man. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin” (Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 22). It is thus important to rediscover amazement in front of this mystery, to let ourselves be enveloped by the greatness of this event: God, the true God, Creator of everything, as man has traveled our roads, entering into the time of man, so as to transmit to us his own life (cf 1 Jn 1, 1-4). And He did it not with the splendour of a sovereign, who subjugates the world with his power, but with the humility of a child." (9.01.13)

Papa John Paul II's homily on the Nativity      
Christmas Midnight Mass, St Peter's - 25 December in the Great Jubilee 2000

"It is as if on every day of the Jubilee year the Church has never ceased to repeat: “Today is born for us the Saviour”. This proclamation, which possesses an inexhaustible charge of renewal, resonates on this holy night with special force: it is the Christmas of the Great Jubilee, a living memory of 2000 years of Christ, of his wondrous birth, which marked the new beginning of history. Today “the Verb was made flesh and came to dwell among us” (Jn 1, 14).

“Today”. On this night, time opens up to eternity, because You, O Christ, are born among us, coming from on high. You came to light from the womb of a Woman blessed among all women, You, “the Son of the Most High”. Your holiness sanctified our time once and for always: the days, the centuries, the millennia. With your birth, you made of time a “today” of salvation."

Papa Benedict XVI's homily on the Nativity      
Christmas Midnight Mass, St Peter's Basilica, 24 December in the Year of Faith 2012

"Thus the great moral question about how things are for us in regard to the homeless, refugees and migrants, takes on a still deeper meaning: do we truly have room for God, when He seeks to enter our home? Do we have time and space for Him? Is not perhaps God Himself actually rejected by us? It begins when we have no time for God. The faster we can move, the more efficient the time-saving tools become, the less time we have available. And God? The question regarding Him never seems urgent. Our time is already completely filled. But things go even deeper. Does God truly have a place in our thinking? The methodology of our thinking is structured in such a way that He, at the base, should not exist. Although He seems to knock at the door of our thinking, He must be removed with reasoning. So as to be taken seriously, thinking must be structured in such a way as to render the “God hypothesis” superfluous. There is no room for Him. Even in our feelings and will there is no room for Him. We want ourselves, we want the things that can be touched, happiness experienced, the success of our personal projects and of our intentions. We are completely “filled” with ourselves, so that there remains no space for God. And as such there is no space for others, for children, for the poor, for strangers. Starting from those simple words about the lack of room at the inn, we can realise how much we need St Paul’s exhortation: “Be transformed by renewing your way of thinking!” (Rom 12, 2). Paul speaks of renewal, of unlocking our intellect (nous); he speaks, in general, of the way in which we see the world and ourselves. The conversion we need must truly reach all the way to the depths of our relationship with reality. Let us pray to the Lord that we may become alert to his presence, that we may feel how softly yet insistently He knocks at the door of our being and of our will. Let us pray that in our innermost selves we make room for Him. And that in this way we can recognize Him also in those through whom He addresses us: in children, in the suffering and the abandoned, in the marginalized and in the poor of this world."

Papa Francis' homily on the Nativity of Jesus      
Christmas Midnight Mass, St Peter's Basilica, 25 December 2013

“The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the announcement of the birth of Jesus. They were the first because they were among the last, the marginalized. And they were the first because they kept vigil in the night, keeping watch over their flocks. The law of the pilgrim is to keep vigil, and they kept vigil. With them, we stop before the Child, we pause in silence. With them, we thank the Lord for having given us Jesus, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts praise for his fidelity: We bless You, Lord God Most High, who lowered yourself for us. You are immense, and you made yourself little; you are rich, and you made yourself poor; you are omnipotent, and you made yourself weak.

On this night we share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, He loves us so much that He gave his Son as our brother, as light in our darkness. The Lord repeats to us: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2, 10). As the angels said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid!” And I also repeat to you all: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, He loves us, He gives us Jesus to guide us on the pathway towards the promised land. He is the light that illuminates the darkness. He is mercy: our Father always forgives us. He is our peace. Amen."

3 2us by Father David Barnes      

"Christmas tells me so much about myself, about being a human being. It tells us that God wants to share his life with us completely. The fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us tells us that God identifies with us in every way except sin. This is an important message for us to take to heart because it tells me that I am infinitely loveable to God."

Evangelium on Christmas

with Father Marcus Holden, in Year A      
Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter

"In this little child, God gives us the greatest gift in the world: the gift of Himself. It is the beginning of the solution and the mending of all things. Christmas tells us that God is with us and that He loves us. Few people perceive this and few people noticed this when He first came to this earth in the manger. Yet even from the stable He was changing the world from the inside. Christmas tells us that God is working and that He looks for you and for me. But we are often very hard to find and very hard to reach. Perhaps the saddest line in all of history is: "There was no room for Him in the inn." .. One of the most moving carols is In the Bleak Midwinter which asks "What shall I give Him, poor as I am?" Well, what does He need? He doesn't need anything, He created the entire universe. .. But there is one thing that He can't force, that he won't force, that He really does want - our love. What can I give Him? Give Him my heart. Make room in your hearts for the Son of God. He comes for each one of us, He seeks our hearts and that is what He is interested in."

with Father Andrew Pinsent, in Year B      
Carol - Away in a Manger

"I invite you to picture in your minds eye the image of the stable, with representatives of every aspect of God's creation gathering around the manger: the child's mother Mary, her husband Joseph, the shepherds who have come in from the fields, the Wise Men shortly to arrive from the East, the ox and the ass who know their Master's crib and the star in the sky. They have come to Bethlehem not simply to revere the birth of a great man, some future prophet or world leader, they have come to worship God Himself; they have come to gaze on the face of God, God-made-Man for our salvation."

with Father Marcus Holden      

"We're made for the lights of eternity, we're made for God. God became man, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. He became one with our humanity, not with an animal, a plant or even a planet. He became one with us and it tells us about ourselves that we're made for him and our hearts will be restless until they rest in him. Lets allow him on this night to subvert us! To enter clandestinely as a warrior into our soul, to break down and topple all those idols, all those false things that hold us back, because he will bring light. O Christian realise tonight in the wonder of the manger your nobility. Amen."

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary: the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation of Jesus & Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

The Luminous Mysteries: the Baptism of Jesus, Wedding at Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, Transfiguration & Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful Mysteries: the Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with thorns, Carrying of the Cross & Crucifixion.

The Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, Assumption of Mary & Coronation of Mary.

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