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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
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Aleteia’s Jesse Tree – Day 23

SHEPHERDS

Tango7174 | CC BY-SA 4.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/23/20

The shepherds receive the good news of Jesus' birth and hasten to adore him.

Today is the twenty-third day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition. (To see previous days, click here.)

The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.


JESSE TREE

Read more:
Preparing for Christmas? Consider making a Jesse tree

Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.

Scripture

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”(Luke 2:8-12)

Reflection

“Be not afraid,” says the angel to the shepherds, “for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). Like the unnamed and fortunate shepherds, let us too run to meet the One who has changed the course of history.

In the austere poverty of the crib we contemplate “a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). In the vulnerable and weak newborn babe who cries in the arms of Mary, “the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men” (Tit 2:11). Let us pause in silence and worship!O Child, who willed to have for your crib a manger; O Creator of the universe, who stripped yourself of divine glory; O Redeemer, who offered your vulnerable body in sacrifice for the salvation of humanity!May the radiance of your birth light up the night of the world. May the power of your message of love thwart the proud snares of the evil one. May the gift of your life make us understand ever more clearly the worth of the life of each human being.(St. John Paul II, Homily, Midnight Mass, 2003)

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God,
as we see how the Nativity of your Son
according to the flesh draws near,
we pray that to us, your unworthy servants,
mercy may flow from your Word,
who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary
and establish among us his dwelling,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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