1. How did Mary and Joseph spend the first Christmas Eve? St. Joseph spent it in a fruitless attempt to find a lodging for his holy spouse. Vainly he sought for a place in the caravansary or inn, where travelers were received. Vainly he went from house to house in Bethlehem. Everywhere he was disappointed. Thus it is that God prepares His saints and chosen ones for some signal blessing. We must not be cast down by the fruitlessness of our efforts. It is a sign that some great grace is close at hand.
2. Mary meantime was patiently waiting. She was simply praying that God’s will might be done, whatever suffering it might bring to her. She was offering herself to God, to be used by Him as He should see fit. She was making acts of perfect conformity to the will of God in all things. Blessed are those who wait patiently in such a spirit. God will soon fulfill all the desires of their heart.
3. Yet Mary and Joseph, in spite of the sorrow of the one and the anxiety of the other, were both of them overflowing with heavenly consolations. How could it be otherwise, when one of them carried Christ in her chaste womb, and the other was more dear to God than any other of the sons of men, for he was Mary’s chosen spouse, and he knew that before another day was past she was to bring forth into the world the Son of God. Our happiness, like that of Joseph and Mary, does not depend upon external circumstances, but on the love that we bear to God in our hearts.
The End attained
Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right hand, ”Come ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (St. Matt. xxv. 34.)
1. What will be the sentiments of those who at the General Judgment will find themselves on the right hand of the Judge, and listen to His words of love? First of all they will overflow with a delicious sense of happiness and peace; they will scarcely be able to contain themselves with delight; unmixed and unalloyed will be their cup of joy, unlike any of the joys of earth, intoxicating them with its ineffable sweetness.
2. They will also be amazed and astonished at the reward given to them. What have I done, O Lord, to deserve all this? When did I minister to Thee as Thou sayest? When did I do anything to earn Thy words of gratitude? Who am I that Thou shouldst thus exalt me? All the little that I did came from Thee, and now Thou rewardest me as if it was my own. We bless Thee, we praise Thee, for Thy great goodness, Thine unspeakable generosity.
3. They will also look back with wonder on their earthly life. While it lasted it seemed so long, so tedious, perhaps so miserable, and now it is like a moment in the past, like a shadow that flitted by. How infinitesimal all its sorrows and pains will then seem, all compensated by that first moment of ineffable delight!
Seek to bear that day in mind when earthly sorrows press heavily.
This article, Day 28 (Dec 24) Christmas Eve & The End Attained (Advent Meditation) is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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