Fifteen days prior to the birthday of the Lord, St. Francis summoned his brothers: “If you desire to celebrate the coming feast of the Lord together at Greccio, hurry before me and carefully make ready the things I tell you. For I wish to enact the memory of that babe who was born in Bethlehem: to see as much as is possible with my own bodily eyes the discomfort of his infant needs, how he lay in a manger, and how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he rested on hay.”
Christmas eve night was lit up like day, delighting all. People arrived, ecstatic at this mystery of new joy. The forest amplified the cries and the boulders echoed back the joyful crowd. The brothers sang, giving God due praise, and the whole night abounded with jubilation. All stood before the manger with wondrous joy.
My prayer for all of you is that as we celebrate this holy feast of Christmas you reflect to those whom you serve the wonder of God’s love made flesh. May you all have a blessed Christmas and a New Year 2017 filled with grace.
Fr. Tom Nairn