Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Sixth Day in the Octave of the Epiphany

MEDITATION VI: The Dwelling of Jesus at Nazareth.
St. Joseph, on his return to Palestine, heard that Archelaus reigned in Judea instead of his father, Herod, wherefore he was afraid to go and live there; and being warned in a dream, he went to live in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, and there in a poor little cottage he fixed his dwelling. O blessed house of Nazareth, I salute and venerate you! There will come a time when you will be visited by the great ones of the earth: when the pilgrims find themselves inside your poor walls, they will never be satisfied with shedding tears of tenderness at the thought that within them the King of Paradise passed nearly all his life.

In this house, then, the Incarnate Word lived during the remainder of his infancy and youth. And how did he live? Poor and despised by men, performing the offices of a common working-boy, and obeying Joseph and Mary: and He was subject to them (Luke 2:51). O God, how touching it is to think that in this poor house the Son of God lives as a servant! Now he goes to fetch water; then he opens or shuts the shop; now he sweeps the room; now he collects the shavings for the fire; now he labors in assisting Joseph at his trade. O wonder! To see a God sweeping! A God serving as a boy! O thought that ought to make us all burn with holy love to our Redeemer, who has reduced himself to such humiliations in order to gain our love!

Let us adore all these servile actions of Jesus, which were all divine. Let us adore, above all, the hidden and neglected life that Jesus Christ led in the house of Nazareth! O proud men, how can you desire to make your selves seen and honored, when you behold your God, who spends thirty years of his life in poverty, hidden and unknown, to teach us the love of retirement and of an humble and a hidden life!

Affections and Prayers.

O my adorable Infant, I see you an humble servant-boy, working even in the sweat of your brow in this poor shop. I understand it all; you are serving and working for me. But since you employ your whole life for the love of me, so grant, my dear Savior, that I may employ all the rest of my life for your love. Look not at my past life: it has been a life of sorrow and tears both for me and for you, a life of disorder, a life of sins. Oh, permit me at least to keep you company during the remainder of my days, and to labor and suffer with you in the shop of Nazareth, and afterwards to die with you on Calvary, embracing that death which you have destined for me. My dear Jesus, my love, suffer me not to leave and forsake you again, as I have done in times past. You, my God, are suffering such poverty in a shop, hidden, unknown, and despised; and I, a vile worm, have gone about seeking honors and pleasures, and for the sake of these have separated myself from you, O sovereign Good! No, my Jesus, I love you; and because I love you, I will not remain any longer separated from you. I renounce all things, in order to unite myself to you, my hidden and despised Redeemer. Your grace gives me more happiness than have all the vanities and pleasures of the world, for which I have so miserably forsaken you. Eternal Father, for the merits of Jesus Christ, unite me to yourself by the gift of your holy love.

Most holy Virgin, how blessed were you, who, being the companion of your Son in his poor and hidden life, made yourself so like to your Jesus! O my Mother, grant that I also, at least during the short remainder of my life, may endeavor to become like to you and to my Redeemer.

No comments: