By Ivonne Hernandez
St Peter Julian Eymard´s Words
"When He was born on the straw of the stable, the Word was preparing His Eucharist, which He considered the complement of all His other mysteries. He was coming to be united to man. During His life He would establish with man a union of grace, a union of example and of merit; but only in the Eucharist would He consummate the most perfect union of which man is capable here below. …
The mystery of the Nativity speaks to us of poverty and vulnerability. In the stillness of the night, Our Savior was born in a manger, a poor infant, completely vulnerable and dependent upon His parents. By the manner of His birth at Bethlehem, He teaches us detachment from all earthly things, not only in material possessions, but also in sprit. In the Eucharist, Jesus continues to teach us the lessons we need to prepare the way of the Lord, so He can be born in our hearts.
Jesus is poorer and more vulnerable in the Eucharist than He was at Bethlehem. He depends on man for everything, from the matter of His sacrifice, to the linens and the candles for His altars. He makes Himself vulnerable out of love. When we see Him in that state, we feel we can approach Him. We see ourselves in the mirror of the Host and realize it is ok to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with Him. We open our hearts and show Him our nothingness, our poverty, our brokenness. “A contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Psalm 51:19)
Just like the straw was “trodden down and crushed”, so our hearts, crushed by our sin, will become the poor bed our Lord is looking for. “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11) In the stillness of our hearts, our Lord will be born. He will bring with Him the infant virtues we need to grow. We will nourish them with the Bread of Life and water them with Living Water. Each time we receive Our Lord there will be less of us and more of Him. We will declare with John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30), until we can one day say “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me!” (Gal 2:20)
As you meditate on the mystery of the Nativity, ask Our Lady for the grace of identifying with the vulnerability of Our Lord in The Most Blessed Sacrament.
Next: 4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.