From Stations of the Nativity: Meditations on the Incarnation of Christ
Before the Stations
Almighty God, whose blessed Son took our human nature so that we might regain our lost innocence and be restored to the divine image that was disfigured by sin, grant that as we meditate on the mystery of his humanity we may share the glory of his divinity, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever.
A hymn may be sung: the familiar Christmas hymns tell of the wonder of the Incarnation and the following is particularly suitable (click on hymn title to be directed to the YouTube video of its performance):
9: Circumcision Or Naming Of Jesus
V: We adore thee O Christ and we bless thee.
R: Because by thy wonderful Nativity thou hast given us new birth.
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:15-20)
The Earthly life of Jesus begins with an act of obedience, as he himself would be obedient to his Heavenly Father even to the end. Following the Jewish Law for male children, he was circumcised and named a week after his birth. The name commanded by the angel of the Annunciation is given public declaration. He is Jesus, “Jehovah saves,” and the salvation will be for all people.
We praise the holy name of Jesus above all names. We give thanks that the Savior of the world was born as man, giving us a pattern of obedience for our religious duties, to be the outward sign of our inward love and faith. We give thanks that we are given grace and commandment to pray to the Father in his name.
If we trust to ourselves, we can easily go astray in our religion. Sometimes we raise the performance of public worship above the need for private prayer and for lives that follow the divine will. At other times we are slack and think that if we pray alone we do not need to join in prayer with other Christians. Help us to honor the name of Jesus both in our hearts and in the fellowship of the church.
V: God sent his Son into the world.
R: To bring us to eternal life.
V: Let us bless the Lord.
R: Thanks be to God.
Names are the signals which make people real to us, names we love are the dearest sounds of our lives.
Names can be a screen, concealing a person behind a word.
One Name only links God and our humanity and makes us bold to give expression to the inexpressible.
The Name of Jesus brings the faithful to their knees; but to the unbelieving it is a dead echo of things past, and to the angry and impatient becomes an obscenity.
It is the holy Name that calls the child made new by water, the hope of the old who utter it as breath comes slowly, and mercy to those who use it in vain, for he loves them too and will love them to the end.
At the name of Jesus every knee should bend in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
May I honor that dear Name more truly, on my lips and in my heart.
After the Stations
Almighty God, grant to us, who have followed our Lord through the time of his coming to Earth, the peace promised by the angels, the simple trust of the shepherds, the wise discernment of the Magi, and the love of the Holy Family in our homes and in all our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
A hymn may be sung: see above.
A priest who is present may give this blessing, or the people may say it together, saying, us, for, you.
May God give you grace to follow the example of Christ, and bring you through the power of his Incarnation to eternal life, and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.