Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Dawn

Luke 2:15-20

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Mary Ann Cook

Published: December 25, 2018

Read Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing... Read More…

Luke’s Gospel describes how the shepherds found Mary and Joseph nurturing the life of Jesus in the midst of abject poverty: 

So they . . . found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.  When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.  . . .  And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart (Lk 2: 16-17, 19).

Caravaggio Adoration of the ShepherdsCaravaggio’s Adoration of the Shepherds, pictured here, is starkly realistic – a barn, a donkey, an ox, some straw and, as noted by one commentary, “in a basket . . . a loaf of bread, the carpenter's tools of Joseph and some pieces of cloth. Joseph (in red) introduces the shepherds, in brown and grey, to the young Virgin Mother . . . .  Mary cuddles her baby peacefully and, apart from two [hardly visible] haloes, only the bare-shouldered young man, who kneels with clasped hands, gives the moment of the child's discovery a hint of its meaning.   God became man as one of the poor.” [1]

As we, like Mary, reflect on “all these things” in our hearts, let’s pray this Christmas for families around our world especially for children left poor, starving, orphaned, homeless, or physically or emotionally maimed as a result of injustice, violence and natural disasters.  And let’s remember that we pray in communion with Notre Dame around the world. In St. Julie’s words: “We shall all, all meet round his holy crib with our good and loving Mother, our good St. Joseph and our dear sisters, who are everywhere offering their poor hearts.”

[1]Adoration of the Shepherds, oil on canvas, 1609.  Commentary from the web, Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.



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