Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see.
Gazing with the eyes of faith even deeper, I continue to see the brilliant gold reflection on Mary’s face. My eyes are now drawn to a take a closer examination at the faces of the shepherds. They are less pronounced than Mary’s. They appear to be the faces of women, not an unusual thing in those days. One of the shepherds is holding a baby in her arms. I wonder what the shepherds were thinking as they stepped into that manger scene in Bethlehem. Surely, they must have been amazed to find what the angels had said. But what does this mean? Why us?
Shepherds were peasants in the ancient world. Peasants, almost by definition, were poor and among the lowest in society. Yet God chose to give these ordinary folks, first-hand exposure as first witnesses, to the birth of the Savior. God in Christ Jesus became flesh in humble circumstance, among the ordinary people. And now, the Divine Light that was within Mary, shines brightly upon the faces of the shepherds as well – ordinary people, like you and me.
Having this Light, the shepherds cannot hold themselves back. We read a bit further along in Luke, “they made known what had been told them about the child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them” (Luke 2: 17-17). They must tell somebody!! Like the shepherds, when we have the Light of Christ reflected on our face, we too, must share that Light with others. Who do we tell?
And now I ponder: Is the Light of Christ reflected on my face? Is the Light of Christ reflected in my daily actions? Is the Light of Christ reflected on your face? What do you tell? Whom do you tell about the Light?
“A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.”
– Fr Kirtley Yearwood
© Birth of Christ, Donald Jackson, 2002. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved