“Behold the King”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
We are like the shepherds who go and “see this thing that has happened.” Our Churches are filled with people singing “Glory to God in the highest and peace to people of good will,” and we praise God for all that He has given us. But like the shepherds, do you return from Church glorifying and praising God for all that you witnessed during Mass? Or are you just fulfilling your annual Church obligation and continuing with life as usual?
The shepherds heard and had to see to believe. They went with haste, dropping everything they were doing, even leaving their sheep out to pasture. They also were the first to testify to others as to this wonderful display of angels and visit the newborn King. We too need to not only praise our God just on the day we celebrate His birth, but all year round. We need to put on hold everything else and go with haste to weekly Mass. This is just the beginning of the story! You don’t watch the first episode of you favorite TV show and then stop watching the next weeks. You make time to watch week to week so you don’t miss anything in the story. Don’t miss what happens in Church on Sunday! Here are some of the previews: This coming Sunday, we learn about Jesus being presented in the temple and the prophecy of Simeon. On New Years day, we celebrate Mary the Mother of God. And then it’s the Epiphany of our Lord. And the week after that is the baptism of Jesus when we get to hear from God, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Spoiler alert: you won’t want to miss the violent end when they beat and crucify Jesus! You’ll have to see to believe, like Thomas, what happens after that!!!
Get excited about all you get to hear each week. The Old Testament is an amazing story of sin, struggle and God’s promise pointing to the One who comes to save the world. The letters read during the Second Reading are beautiful words of how to live a life dedicated to Christ. And of course, the Gospels tells us all that Jesus did for us and how we reacted to him while He was here. Listening and learning these readings will help you to be more engaged at Mass, and it will become not just a weekly obligation. You will learn more about our Lord, you will receive more joy and peace in your life, even during the trials and tribulation. Ask God to give you the time to spend with Him and He will provide that to you because He wants you there. If you seek Him, you will receive more because God blesses those who seek him.
Sweet baby Jesus, thank you for coming to us and coming for us. You are the Light of the world in the darkness of sin. Help me to look forward to hearing your Word and participating in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. I long to see your face as the shepherds were able to so long ago. I long to hold and kiss you, as your mother did. I love you, Jesus, and with your help, I will come and adore you in daily prayer and in weekly Mass. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.