In those days Caesar Augustus published a decree ... everyone went to register." Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem. There they found Jesus.
For us this Christmas, the decree still goes out. We, too, are called to Bethlehem. No matter what our "state" of spiritual health, we come here to register.
So we go, filled with joy and pregnant with hope to see our God who dwells among us. It is here we hope to register anew as his disciples.
As we journey along from one Christmas to another, we search for that sign of strength. We scan heaven for the
star of hope. We listen attentively for the shout of heavenly songs. And as we do, we bring to Jesus the precious gift of ourselves. The real joy of Christmas is that Jesus embraces us in our own swaddling clothes. We register our love and He accepts it smilingly.
St. Francis de Sales sees this same beautiful scene in his writings. He urges us to go kneel before the manger and to give Jesus the gift of our own life and journey. He says:
"Visit Jesus often in His crib, caress Him and make him welcome in your heart."
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 2:20
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.