Dec 31, 2023
(Nm.6:22-27; Ps.67:2-3,5-6,8; Gal.4:4-7; Lk.2:16-21)
“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.”
The blessing of God, His holy Son, was upon the shepherds, and it is upon us all. For “God sent His Son, born of a woman” that His “way be known upon earth,” “that we might receive adoption as sons.” And what greater blessing could man know than to fulfill his call as son of the living God?
We are blessed, brothers and sisters, and we should proclaim it as the shepherds. The blessing invoked upon the people by Aaron has been realized in the birth of the Son. Through Him “the Lord let[s] His face shine upon [us]” – this is His grace come. And how else but in haste should we travel to Him? How quickly we should arrive at His side. And how amazed all should be upon hearing the blessings we have known, at the hand of our God.
Mary is she who is truly blessed, and we honor especially today she “who kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” For so obedient was she to God’s will that He was “conceived in [her] womb” and made flesh in our sight. So, let us thank her today for the blessing she has brought into our midst. As we are now sons of the Father with the Spirit of the Son “crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” in our hearts, so we are sons of Mary, too, for the Lord’s divinity cannot be separated from His humanity – the two meet as one in Jesus Christ. This is our great blessing.
From “an infant lying in the manger” shall come the salvation of our race, and the Mother of this renewed race, consecrated to God in Him who is “named Jesus,” we commemorate with our hearts and our voices in praise this holy day. May she now be the instrument by which “the Lord bless[es]” and “keep[s]” us; may she pray this day that “His face shine upon [us].” And may all her children be one in the blessing of Christ, her Son. Amen.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.
Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, what blessing is upon us
this Christmas day!
YHWH, we are your sons now because Jesus has become our Brother. Born of the Virgin, His blessing is now upon our race – He it is who shines the light of your face. Let us glorify you for your blessing.
Now we may call you “Father!” now that the Spirit of your Son is with us. For in Him we are adopted as your sons, LORD, and so through Him you are our Father. Let the light of your face shine upon us all our days.
It is you who rule all nations, LORD; all the earth is in your hands. Yet you come to us as a little child, poor and lying in a humble manger. Let us ponder this wonder with Mary; let us keep your will and your Word ever in our hearts, that we might see unfold the revelation of your presence among us.
Too wonderful for us is the grace you bring, LORD; yet let us live as your sons, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.