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):
14: Return to Nazareth
V: We adore thee O Christ and we bless thee.
R: Because by thy wonderful Nativity thou hast given us new birth.
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judaea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth. (Matthew 2:19-23)
After the joys and perils of the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family moved quietly back to Nazareth where the first announcement of God’s purpose had been made. Jesus began the years of growing and learning, and the life of a family home, until the time should come for his ministry to begin.
We give thanks for our homes, for the shared joy of families and the quiet happiness of daily life. Grant that the pattern of our lives may be governed by the grace that was in the home at Nazareth, as Jesus grew from infancy to manhood.
We do not always value as we should the simple blessings of life. We would like each day to bring a special pleasure or a new personal success. Give us contentment in the day and the hour of opportunity, with grateful hearts for our creation and preservation.
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.
The time of waiting was not yet over.
Centuries of expectation had ended with a host of angels, with greater wonder among the simple and the wise, and flight from the shedding of innocent blood.
The final time appointed would not come until God had lived the full experience: learned to walk, read, reason, labor for a living, and the Maker came to the maturity of his human image.
Before the battle, with evil was begun, life was blessed in the little things, and there was grace in a humble house; and light would forever shine in darkness because God had visited and redeemed his people.
Jesus, bearer of our humanity,
Mary, gracious, gentle mother,
Joseph, faithful, loving protector,
have mercy on us.
May God grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth shall be our protection and guide day-by-day and year-by-year, leading us to the full revelation of glory.
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.