Today is the fourth, and last Sunday of Advent. Jesus is just about to arrive.
O key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal kingdom: Come and free the prisoners of darkness!
4 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and this is the 22nd day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Some minds are like concrete: thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
(NAB Lk 2:1-5)
Jesus’ Davidic background is noted in these verses. Joseph had to go to his families ‘home’ city for the census. Bethlehem is the city of David (and his home still stands, as I understand). Interestingly, Bethlehem is translated into english as, “House of God!” So, Jesus is coming into the world in the city known throughout the Roman empire as the “House of God!” WOW!!!!
Mary did not walk the many miles to Bethlehem. She was VERY pregnant at this time, so she rode a donkey. I have personally had the priviledge of riding a donkey; and it is in no way like riding a horse. Donkeys are stubborn and very bony. They have to be forced to move, and to go the way you want them to travel. It is a lot of hard work!
But that donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem, carried Jesus. A dumb and stubborn animal; carrying a young virgin, who carried God. The donkeys bells were the first church bells, as Mary was the first Church, and her womb; the first tabernacle, holding the body of Christ.” Tradition has it that all donkeys have a cross shape on their backs as a remembrance of this donkeys assistance and sacrifice in bringing Jesus to Bethlehem, and fulfilling Old Testament prophesies.
Luke, combined Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, with a census under Quirinius, to signify Jesus’ birth for the whole Roman world. Through Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, peace and salvation were to come not only to the empire, but to the entire world.
Caesar Augustus was regarded in the Roman Empire as “savior” and “god,” and he was credited with establishing a time of peace throughout the Roman world during his long reign. It is NOT by chance that Luke relates the birth of Jesus to the time of Caesar Augustus. The real savior (Luke 2:11) and peace-bearer (Luke 2:14 & Luke 19:38) is the child Jesus, born in Bethlehem. The earthly ‘savior and peace maker’ is to be succeeded immensely by the heavenly ‘King, Savior, and Peace – Bearer, JESUS CHRIST!’
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #20:
The Secular Franciscan Order is divided into fraternities of various levels — local, regional, national, and international. Each one has its own moral personality in the Church. These various fraternities are coordinated and united according to the norm of this rule and of the constitutions.