“Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Shepherds upon finding themselves in the presence of the angel with the glory of the Lord shining around them were filled with fear. This fear is dispelled by the words of the angel when he says, “Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you news of a great joy.” This joy comes from the knowledge that the Saviour which all Israel had been longing for had finally come to his people. Overcome by what they had witnessed and filled with expectation the shepherds “went with haste” to see the Christ child. As with the annunciation to Mary, the angelic visitation fills them with a joy that cannot be contained, and moves them to action. The darkness of the night in which they laboured in the fields gives way to the light which they now see before their eyes, the true light of the world; the King of the Universe, in a manger. Changed forever by this experience the shepherds become messengers of joy, making known to others what they have seen and heard.
Let us pray that we may experience anew the joy that comes with knowing Christ our Lord. Like Mary, who pondered the mystery of her Son in her heart may we by meditating on this mystery be changed by grace and become messengers of joy to all we meet.
One Our Father, Ten Hail Mary’s, Gloria.
Queen of Preachers: Pray for us.