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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Countdown to Christmas

Yesterday I gave an Advent retreat on the Stations of the Cross at the Renewal Center in South Miami. It was a good preparation for Christmas and I let the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus as told by Luke and Matthew speak to the audience and to me. There is a power in the Word of God. I also used the Prologue to John's Gospel. In case you are wondering what I decided to make "Stations" of the Crib, I stuck with the main figures. The first station had the Angel Gabriel announcing the birth of John to Zechariah and then, six months later, announcing the birth of Jesus to Mary. The Third Station concerned Mary, Elizabeth, and the babies in their wombs. The fourth was about Joseph and his decision to put Mary away privately when he realized that she was with child and that he was not the father and how he much have prayed and discerned what would be best, but then an angel comes to him in a dream and all is changed. The Fourth station concerns the coming together of Mary and Joseph, their adjustment to married life with Mary expecting a baby, and then the journey to Bethlehem. The Fifth station is the scene of the Nativity but mostly it is awe before the mystery of the Incarnation; the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Sixth station has the angel announcing the birth to the Shepherds who believe the good news and set out for Bethlehem; the Seventh and last Station has the wise men following the star and adoring the Infant when they find him. It includes more dreams and the flight into Egypt.This is just a very short summary, but it gives you an idea and with Christmas Carols separating the last four stations and the lovely crib in the Chapel before us, it turned out to be prayerful. But that will be my blog for today.

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