infested, horrid planet of rebellion. They watched under the intensity of this starlight as a baby was born. The radiance from the heavenly glory that stood watch over the planet showed a very different countenance on this child. Not pale and weak as the rest, this one looked healthy and happy. The rosy pink hue of peace was upon Him, and even the hordes of fallen angels could not come near His place of birth. They were repulsed by the glory of His Spirit, and fearful of the power they knew He possessed.
Soon the star moved closer to the earth. It became a beacon over the shelter where the baby lay. The angelic spectators continued to stare in awe as they realized the radiance of this child was not coming from the heavenly light at all. In the shadows of the stable, the child was glowing. The light of glory dwelt within.
His mother knelt by her newborn, caressing the forehead of one who not too long ago stepped out of the heavenlies. She leaned over the cradle and gently picked up God the Son, Ruler of Heaven. The angels gazed in awe at the Mother of God caressing her son.
The messenger watched this event with pleasure. He smiled, remembering his visit with this woman just before he reported to the inner court. How open she was to the word of God, completely submitted to His will. Truly, she was a special person, chosen by the Father Himself.
The Father called the Herald Angel to stand before Him. After receiving instructions, the messenger left the court accompanied by the angelic choir who served before the throne. They walked through the threshold, took their places beneath the star near the birthplace of the baby, and began to rejoice at the birth of the Savior. Their singing stirred the heavenly host who remained in the inner court.
"May we join them, Father?" they cried in one voice. They received permission and charged through the portal, shouting glory and honor to God as they went.
On earth, a group of men called shepherds watched this praise gathering from a hillside vigil. They were both confused and excited at the same time. The messenger spoke to them, saying, "Don't be afraid! Go and see the one who was born." They went quickly to the stable where the child lay, savoring the radiance of His Glory. These were common looking creatures, not quite the attendants expected by the angels for their Prince of Peace, but the host of heaven sensed the pleasure of the Lord at their presence.
As the angels returned to the throne room, they prayed that this planet would suddenly grow rich and vibrant with the glory of the Messiah. Such was not the case. Other than these and a few other visitors, the world around the the little stable did not change much.
Unable to continue with business as usual, the heavenly attendants remained motionless in front of the threshold. They were still amazed at what had just transpired. This was the event they had heard about. Often through the eons of timeless existence, the Father and Son had spoken of this act. To think that they were actually seeing it happen. God's plan to restore man's relationship with Him was under way. They wondered what heaven would be like... now that man would be free to fellowship with God.
Just then the star departed from the planet and joined the six other lights above the Father. The curtains closed behind the throne, and the angels returned to their places of service in the inner court. One of them bowed before the Father. "Lord, it is finished!" He said, raising his hands in worship. The rest of the angels joined in, offering praise and adoration for His marvelous love.
The Father's voice rose above the sounds of praise. "No, faithful ones, it is not finished, it has just begun.
Randy Sly is a communications expert living in Potomac Falls, Va. He is a convert to the Catholic Church having formerly served as an Archbishop of the ICCEC. He serves as the Associate Editor of Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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