Today, after the first two Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Annunciation and the Visitation marking the months before the birth of Jesus, we come to the third Joyful Mystery, the birth of the Lord.
It’s easy to forget in the midst the end-of-year busyness and traditions of the annual Christmas gathering that the birth of Jesus Christ is a life-changing event for all who seek to live in relationship with the divine.
We can no longer assume that people know the meaning of Christmas. A child recently asked about the significance of Christmas replied: “it is when Santa Claus was born.”
The child is right about the birth part, and birth is always a moment of rejoicing and wonder.
Shepherds and kings were captivated by the helpless child is a Bethlehem stable. In this child they recognised not only a new human life, but a turning point in the relationship between God and people.
Until this moment, generations had sought to please and appease a God they perceived to be distant. Now, in this Bethlehem event, God had bridged the distance by journeying into human existence. Now God had taken on flesh and who breathes, to walk earthly roads and to speak human language to those in need.
Christmas is not primarily about remembering an historical event layered with the nostalgia of cultural and family traditions. In Christmas we celebrate that God is today transforming everyday earthly existence into robust and lively life.
As Pope (Emeritus) Benedict reminds us:
“where God is seen, does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him”.
Benedict in his first papal homily, 24 April 2005
Click this image to be guided through ten minutes of prayer centred on the Third Joyful Mystery, The Birth of the Lord.
Click the image below to request to be sent Rosary Beads. I will happily send beads to anyone who will use these and help others to pray the Rosary. Don’t be afraid to request as many beads as you will use. I have been happy to have several requests of 100 beads for Catholic schools. as well as requests for 600 and 900. There is no charge for these but if you are able to make a donation to help cover costs and support the growth of the Food For Faith mission you can do this at this link: “Support FFF”
I am happy to use your own recordings of you with a group, perhaps family, praying a decade of the Rosary. Begin with Apostles Creed, an Our Father and Three Hail Mary’s, the a decade of the Rosary: Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, Glory be and O My Jesus. You might also add the Hail Holy Queen and the Concluding Prayer. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all, we can edit to make a complete recording. You might find the page at this link helpful for the words of prayers.