The Third Joyful Mystery–The Nativity in Bethlehem
We Learn Through Reading
“For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
“The time has come for Mary to give birth. Far from home, Joseph and Mary find shelter in a stable in Bethlehem. In the darkness of night, Jesus is born. As shepherds guard their flocks in fields nearby, an angel appears in the sky, announcing the Savior’s birth. Suddenly, the sky is filled with angels, praising and giving glory to God”
Source: Magnifikid! Prayers for Schools Page 259
“The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ” Source: USCCB.org
“The Twenty-fifth Day of December,
when ages beyond number had run their course
from the creation of the world,
when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,
and formed man in his own likeness;
when century upon century had passed
since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood,
as a sign of covenant and peace;
in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith,
came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses
in the Exodus from Egypt;
around the thousandth year since David was anointed King;
in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
in the year seven hundred and fifty-two
since the foundation of the City of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,
the whole world being at peace,
JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since his conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
and was made man:
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.”
Source: USCCB.org “The Nativity Of Our Lord Jesus Christ From The Roman Martyrology”
My Bethlehem Experience
This past June, I visited the Nativity Church and the Manger Grotto in Bethlehem. My son, Father William Goldin, was my guide. He celebrated Mass, with me as the lector, in the Manger Grotto, and we were joined by two nuns. One nun was from Aleppo in Syria and the other was a Christian Palestinian from Bethlehem. I was quite surprised to realize that Jesus was actually born in a cave. Our taxi driver told us that for many centuries before and after Jesus was born, people in this region lived in caves. It is a rough, desert area and the town of Bethlehem is ancient, and built upon a ridge. Evidently, in the past, Bethlehem was green, with fruit trees. It was confusing to think about the images of Mary and Baby Jesus in a lovely stable with straw in the wooden manger. In fact, the manger, which is a trough that holds the food for the sheep and other livestock, was actually a cold hewn-rock vessel. Everything we saw and visited helped me understand how strong, brave, and indomitable the Holy Family was.
We Learn Through Song
1 O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting Light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.
2 For Christ is born of Mary,
and gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth.
3 How silently, how silently
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him still
the dear Christ enters in.
4 O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in;
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.
To Hear the Tune:
We Celebrate Through Art
To do at home without time constraints:
Make a cut-paper collage like the one at the top of the post. Here are sample tools:
For a classroom with 15-20 minutes for art:
Use watercolor crayons on watercolor paper to create a Nativity painting. First, draw design with a watercolor crayon. Moisten finger in water, and use finger on crayon drawing to create watercolor paint. You can also use watercolor pencils and a small, pointed brush for small areas.