Posted by: wordofthevine | December 24, 2017

How to have God’s Favor Rest on Us this Christmas

Imagine that you hear it, maybe ever so softly, the sound of the angels singing in Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests (Luke 2:14)! Servant of God, Archbishop Luis Martinez, in Meditations to Prepare for Christmas, tells us that the angels not only sang this 2000 years ago to the shepherds, they can sing it now in our hearts if we prepare “a complete Bethlehem,” an abundant loving intimacy with Jesus this Advent season.

St. Joseph, the simple man of Faith, has shown us the power of discerning God’s will for us in the midst of the moment, and of responding to it fully. Martinez told us that, like St. Joseph, we do not always need to understand the why of the events of our lives. We only need to know what and when, in order to fulfill God’s will.

Martinez shared that the last part of following God’s will and forming our hearts as a “complete Bethlehem,” is to have our hearts be like Mary’s heart, so Jesus can really be born in our hearts this Christmas. According to Archbishop Martinez, “More than the manger from which He taught the world most eloquently about humility, more than the faithful and prudent servant (St. Joseph), our Heavenly Father had to carefully prepare Mary… a heart so full of tenderness, totally forgetting and denying its own self and ready for all sacrifices, so it would be capable of understanding the bitter pains and intimate joys of the Heart of Jesus.” In the great mystery, Jesus remained in the “bosom of the Father while He came to our world.” Jesus was often lonely on earth although He was outwardly surrounded by people for “He bore in His Heart such great mysteries, such deep secrets…he needed a heart that was made to beat in unison with His Divine Heart,” the heart of a mother…Mary. Mary shows both men and women the power of forming an open heart for God.

When we learn to cultivate inner intimacy with Jesus, we, like Mary, become able to beget spiritual life to others through our prayers, sacrifices, insights and our emotional availability to them. Emmanuel comes through us!  How profound! Jesus, not only wants to gift us this Christmas with His presence in our hearts, He wants to make us gifts to others in our world. As Martinez describes this, “When the love of God passes through the tiny prism of our hearts, it breaks into many pieces [the love of a friend, a parent, a lover, a minister]. Still it is the one love that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts, and it is a perfect, although remote, image of the Divine Love. ” This Christmas, let us receive this Love, Jesus, and hear the echo the angels…“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests (Luke 2:14)!


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