I took the picture below before celebrating Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at St Mary’s in Billerica, yesterday. It seems that the sloppy weather of the New England winter has arrived.
O God, who have shown forth your salvation to all the ends of the earth, grant, we pray, that we may look forward in joy to the glorious Nativity of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Generally in the spiritual life it is not advisable to spend much time dwelling on the past or future because we love God in the present. However, today’s collect advises both. We look back as we behold the historical event of Christ’s Nativity, and look forward to its annual commemoration at Christmas. In looking back, we would do well to picture ourselves in the manager with the Holy Family in the moments after Our Lord’s birth. What would we be doing and feeling? What would our reaction to the newborn Savior be? In looking forward to Jesus’ Navity, we should imagine that it is happening anew for us. The closer we get to Christmas, the more excitement should build in our hearts. Once one begins to grasp the implications of the Nativity for me, next he might consider what the Nativity means for the whole world. May each of us be ready to behold the newborn King at Christmas.