Don't forget, my friend, that we are children. The Lady of the sweet name, Mary, is withdrawn in prayer.
You, in that house, are whatever you want to be: a friend, a servant, an onlooker, a neighbour… —I, at this moment, don't dare to be anything. I hide behind you; full of awe, I contemplate the scene:
The Archangel delivers his message… Quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco? —How shall this be done since I know not man? (Luke 1:34)
Our Mother's voice brings to my memory —by contrast— all the impurities of men… mine too.
And then how I hate the low, mean things of the earth…What resolutions!
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.— Be it done unto me according to Thy word (Luke 1:38). By the enchantment of this virginal phrase, the Word was made flesh.
The first decade is about to end… I still have time to tell my God, before anyone else does: Jesus, I love You.
By now, my little friend, you have no doubt learned to get along by yourself. —Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary company… and you will hear the traditions of the House of David:
You will hear of Elizabeth and Zachary, you will be moved by Joseph's pure love, and your heart will pound whenever there is mention of the Child who will be born in Bethlehem…
We walk in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).
We arrive. —It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. —Elizabeth gratefully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! —How have I deserved to be thus visited by the Mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43)
The unborn Baptist quivers… (Luke 1:41) —Mary's humility pours forth in the Magnificat… —And you and I, who are proud —who were proud—, promise to be humble.
A decree of Caesar Augustus has been proclaimed, ordering the whole world to be enrolled. For this purpose, every person must go to the city of his ancestors. —Since Joseph is of the house and family of David, he goes with the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to the city called Bethlehem, in Judea (Luke 2:1-5).
And in Bethlehem is born our God: Jesus Christ! —There is no room at the inn: He is born in a stable. —And His Mother wraps Him in swaddling clothes and lays Him in a manger.
Cold. —Poverty… —I am Joseph's little servant. —How good Joseph is! —He treats me like a father. —He even forgives me if I take the Child in my arms and spend hour after hour saying sweet and loving things to Him!…
And I kiss Him —you kiss Him too! —and I rock Him in my arms, and I sing to Him, and I call Him King, Love, my God, my Only-one, my All!… How beautiful is the Child and how short the decade!
When the days of the Mother's purification are accomplished, according to the Law of Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke 2:24). —Just think: She —the Immaculate!— submits herself to the Law as if she were defiled.
Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and I surely do need purification! —Atonement, and more than atonement, Love. —Love as a searing iron to cauterize our souls' uncleanness, and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.
A just and God-fearing man has come to the temple led by the Holy Ghost —it had been revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Christ. —He takes the Messiah in his arms and says to Him: Now, My Lord, Thou canst take Thy servant out of this world in peace, according to Thy promise… because my eyes have seen the Saviour (Luke 2:25-30).
Where is Jesus? —The Child, my Lady!… where is He?
Mary is crying. —In vain you and I have run from group to group, from caravan to caravan: no one has seen Him. —Joseph, after useless attempts to keep from crying, cries too… And You… And I.
Being a common little servant, I cry my eyes out and wail to heaven and earth… to make up for those times when I lost Him through my own fault and did not cry.
Jesus: may I never lose Thee again… Then you and I are united in misfortune and grief, as we were united in sin. And from the depth of our being come moans of heartfelt sorrow and burning phrases that the pen cannot and should not record.
And, as we are consoled by the joy of finding Jesus —three days He was gone!— debating with the doctors of Israel (Luke 2:46), your soul and mine will be left deeply impressed by the duty to leave our home and family to serve our heavenly Father.