The Vigil of the Nativity

When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. 
And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:18-21, today’s Gospel from the Propers of the Mass, source

Today is the Vigil of Christmas. On this day, our First Parents, Adam and Eve, are honored as saints, particularly in the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church:

Christmas Eve is the feast day of our first parents, Adam and Eve, who are commemorated as Saints in the calendars of the Catholic churches of Eastern rites. Their veneration spread also to the West and became very popular toward the end of the first millennium. Although the Latin rite of the Catholic Church never officially introduced their feast, it did not oppose their popular veneration. In many old churches of Europe their statues may still be seen among the images of the Saints. source

We are within hours of the Great Day.. In 1917, the wife of G.K. Chesterton, Frances Chesterton, wrote the hymn, How Far is It To Bethlehem, which reflects the anticipation felt at this time. Here are the lyrics to the hymn:

How far is it to Bethlehem? 
Not very far. 
Shall we find the stable room 
Lit by a star?
Can we see the little Child? 
Is He within? 
If we lift the wooden latch 
May we go in? 
May we stroke the creatures there 
Oxen or sheep? 
May we peep like them and see 
Jesus asleep?
If we touch His tiny hand 
Will He awake? 
Will He know we’ve come so far 
Just for His sake? 
Great kings have precious gifts 
And we have naught 
Little smiles and little tears 
Are all we brought.
For all weary children 
Heaven must weep 
Here, on His bed of straw 
Sleep, children, sleep.
God in His mother’s arms 
Babes in the byre 
Sleep, as they sleep who find 
Their heart’s desire.  


And, tonight:

May you have a good day.


~Image: the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Savior of the World, Christ Jesus, both protected by the great St. Joseph.