Reflections at Nazareth

             Excerpts from an address of Pope Paul VI  at the
                       Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth Jan 5, 1 964

                 At Nazareth our very first thoughts must be turned toward Mary Most Holy, to offer her the tribute of our devotion and to nourish that devotion with reflections that will make it genuine, profound and unique, in conformity with the plan of God. It is Mary who is full of grace, who is the Immaculate, the ever-virgin, the Mother of Christ and hence God’s Mother and ours, she who was assumed into heaven, our most blessed Queen, the model for the Church and our hope.

              Before all else we offer our humble filial promise to venerate her with that special devotion which recognizes the wonders God has accomplished in her; with singular homage manifesting the most holy, pure affectionate, personal and confident movements of Our Heart; with such devotion as causes her encouraging example of human perfection to shine upon the world from on high.

              Then we present to her our requests for what is closest to our heart, because we wish to honor both her goodness and the power of her love and intercession. We pray that she may preserve in our hearts a sincere devotion to her. We beg her to give us understanding, desire, and then the peace of possessing purity of body and soul, purity in thought and word, art and love; the purity that the world of today attempts to shock and violate; the purity to which Christ has linked one of His promises, one of His beatitudes, that of penetrating into the vision of God Himself.

            We ask therefore the favor of joining Our Lady, mother of the home at Nazareth, and her humble but courageous husband St. Joseph, in their intimacy with Jesus Christ, her human and divine Son.

.... May Nazareth teach us the meaning of family life, its harmony of love, its simplicity and austere beauty, its sacred and inviolable character; may it teach us how sweet and irreplaceable is its training, how fundamental and incomparable its role on the social plane.

Today a light will shine upon us, for the Lord is born to us; And he will be called Wondrous God, Prince of Peace, Father of future ages: and his reign will be without end (introit – Mass at Dawn).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, in this holy season of Christmas we are invited to rejoice.  Our Joy is not due to any human accomplishments, we are not celebrating our own prowess; no, we are filled with Joy because the Lord is with us. Through Him, we have hope!
Times are hard, many people suffer but we are not sinking into darkness because the Light of Christ shines brightly upon us.  May we be able to spread that light to others.  May our joy be contagious!
As we celebrate the Birth of Christ at Christmas, I offer prayers for you and those you love.  May the Newly Born Infant-God, that long awaited Messiah bless you and sustain you.  May the awareness of God with us, bring you true joy.

gFr. Marc-André Campbell