This year, I find myself unable to write much new for this feast. So instead, I will refer my readers to what I have written in past years.
2017 – The God Who Loves to Be Unknown
2017 – The Five Idols of Christmas
2018 – Christmas Tree, Icon of Wisdom
2019 – Grace, Gratitude, and the Incarnation
2020 – The Feast of the Deus Absconditus
2021 – Christmas With Quesnel
Tonight at Mass, I was struck by how Our Lord, coming in poverty, obscurity, and humility, first drew to Himself people of poverty, obscurity, and humility. The shepherds stand for the poor and the oppressed; they stand for all those hidden souls where God works great miracles of sanctity in silence; and they stand for the humble, for supernatural humility is the distinguishing mark of the Christian life. They are thus our elder brothers among the elect, chosen by God to receive the mighty grace of His presence. As the Psalmist sings, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant” (Psalm 25:15 KJV).
We must grow more and more like the shepherds, always seeking the Face of Christ once announced to us in by Revelation. That, too, is a grace – the joy of seeking and finding God.
And consider the company these lowly shepherds keep – an angel speaks to them, Our Lady beholds their wonder, and the God of Abraham admits them to His personal presence, honoring them more highly than the Prophets and the High Priests. Their names are lost to us. We will never know their image and likeness. They came to Him in a dark night, unnoticed by the world. But now they dwell with the saints in unapproachable light, adoring their Lord in a bright and everlasting day.
Let us pray to share in the joyful graces of the shepherds this Christmas.