They went there in haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus lying in the manger.
The prophets had announced the coming of the Messiah, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. While they were waiting for this glorious coming, one would have thought that they would prepare a place worthy of the high rank from which He came. But no, He came to this earth in probably the least luxurious and sophisticated place for a king. He was born in a stable and laid in a manger. What a scandal and at the same time what an amazing God that is.
In this season of Advent in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah, let us not limit His glorious coming into our lives by preparing an airtight box for Him. Let us expect HIM to come, and let Him come where He wants and how He wants. He will surprise us and His coming will change our lives.
Jesus is not looking for a palace, a prestigious place or even a “religious” place. The only thing He is looking for, is our heart. Like the stable, our heart is not that perfect or sterile place to welcome Jesus but it is the place He is looking for the most. While we are all very busy with life’s circumstances and obligations, let us be sure to be present and ready to welcome Him when He comes. Let us watch and pray, opening our hearts to His action to reverently welcome His coming.
Also, He did not come on a royal horse or in a fancy car. No, He came as a child and even as a baby. The beginning of human life is a beautiful thing. It is the work of God. It is the formation of a human being in the image of God who will live forever. Let us be ready to welcome it and let there be in Bethlehem, and beyond, a joyful and grateful reverence for the gift of human life, from conception to eternity. Let us never cease to be amazed by the gift of life as it begins.
Today is a new day, where this life of Christ will fill you in a new or renewed way that is certainly not as we thought, but is glorious to bring us salvation in Him.
Prayer: God, I open my heart to you and I give it to you. May my life become the stable and the manger of Jesus-Christ the Messiah. I need Him. I’m watching and praying to welcome HIM.
Special Advent Prayer:
I come before you
Lord, I come before you as an empty house, a house that waits, a very poor house.
Praise be to you Lord for this poverty! If my ceiling is broken, it can let in light, if my walls are dilapidated, they can let in your breath, if my house is empty, it can welcome you.
Lord, this is my house. I offer it to you with its poverty, fill it with your presence.
You, the God who forgives, do not say: “Clean up and I will come!” No, you come to my house and you are not afraid of my mess.
Come Lord, for so long my house has been waiting for you.
It will always be empty as long as you are not there.
Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!
Father Georges Madore
(A native of the Outaouais region, Father Madore worked as a missionary in Papua New Guinea before being named Provincial Superior of the Montfortians of Canada. He then resumed his role as an itinerant missionary, traveling across Canada and Europe to lead retreats and healing sessions, following in the footsteps of the founder of his community, Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.)
Quote: Like the stable, our heart is not that perfect or sterile place to welcome Jesus but it is the place He is looking for the most.
Song: O Holy Night (Live) – The McClures | Christmas Morning