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December 18

 

Monday of the Third Week in Advent

Read

"Saint Francis of Assisi began the custom of the nativity scenes when he celebrated Christmas with his brothers at Greccio in 1223 with a Bethlehem scene which included live animals. This tradition quickly spread and people began to construct their own nativity scenes in their homes. Children take a great joy in helping to set up a nativity scene. The crèche may be made from various materials. Simplicity and beauty go often hand in hand. You may set up your entire scene at the beginning of Advent, leaving the crib empty for the Christ Child to arrive on Christmas Eve. Or you may set up the scene slowly, day by day . . . Mary and Joseph can also 'travel' to Bethlehem, as they move slowly across your room every day until they reach the cave." (excerpted from "Celebrating Advent as a Family" foryourmarriage.org)

Reflect 

A nativity scene in St. Peter's square at the Vatican.  CNS photo/Paul Haring.

"While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:6-7)

Pray 

Add this "O Antiphon" to your daily or meal-time prayer today: "O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power." (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, 76)

Act 

Take time to bless the family creche in preparation for the coming of Jesus. (Based on your family's tradition, you may choose to hide the baby Jesus until Christmas morning.)

 



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