Thursday, December 25, 2014

Spirituality: "The Road to Bethlehem” By Pope St. John XXIII

With infinite tenderness our thoughts accompany the holy people who are travelling towards Bethlehem: Jesus, hidden in the immaculate womb of Mary, Our Lady, exposed to so many hardships while she is performing her duty to God and men, and Joseph, her humble and silent husband, strong and faithful. The shepherds and the Magi kings also follow the same road, which will lead them to worship in the cave. The procession is on the move …

We are all invited to join this happy band of souls who go to present their gifts to the Son of God, and to find strength, light, and courage for their daily duties, because only in him, through him and with him, does our work become a means of glorifying the Lord, of benefitting our neighbor and of attaining indestructible peace in our own hearts.

May the Word of the Father whose “goodness and loving kindness” we shall contemplate a few days from now, and who appeared in this world to save mankind, grant to you all the fullness of his grace! “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright” (Psalm 33:1).

In fact, the message of our Savior Jesus was indeed a joyful announcement: it was the “good news.” And it would be a great mistake to imagine, as many thinkers and poets of past times have done, that Christianity is something dismal and lugubrious. No, Christianity is joy, joy in order and peace, with God, with ourselves, and with our fellow men.

Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII, pp. 316-317.