Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))
Jesus made Himself a child to gain our confidence and our love.
“Consider that the Son of God has made Himself little in order to make us great. He has given Himself to us, that we might give ourselves to Him. He has come to show us His love, that we may respond to it by giving Him ours. Let us, therefore, receive Him with affection, let us love Him and call upon Him with all our needs.
“A child gives easily” says St Bernard. Children readily give whatever is asked of them. Jesus came into the world as a child to demonstrate that He was ready and willing to give all. If we wish for light, Jesus has come to enlighten us. If we desire strength, He will strengthen us. If we wish for pardon, He has come to pardon us. In short, He has come to give us all that we need.
O my Jesus, You have descended from heaven to give Yourself entirely to us. How can we turn our backs on You? I have been loved by You and I have also been ungrateful. O my Redeemer, forgive the injuries that I have committed against You.”
“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep….Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.”
O LORD AND RULER
of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with outstretched arms.
Are we in the core group of Christians who embody and live the purest form of the Gospel? Or do we find ourselves among the masses that acknowledge Jesus, enjoy being Christian but don’t pursue it at any deep level? The two requirements in the Gospel are that we repent and believe. If we repent, we do no wrong and speak no lies. If we believe with all our hearts, we follow the Star to the Manger. Let these last few days be a time when we begin the journey to the Christmas core – to the Christ Child. “Let us make ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph- Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of God; Joseph, the faithful and just man who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride. With them, let us walk together toward Bethlehem.” ...Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 December 2013