Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off; say, `He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
Today we celebrate a special day within our Holy Church. Uniquely, we celebrate this Solemnity in honor of the humble shepherds that God chose to first hear word of His Son’s coming among us. He chose these simple shepherds, who were generally outcasts from society, to not just hear of His Son’s birth, but then to go forth and proclaim it to all: And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.
In these days after the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity we may be tempted to relax a bit. The hustle-bustle seems to have died down a bit, yet if we look at our Church’s calendar we will notice that we are just getting started. That’s what happened to the shepherds. Their mission was just starting that night in Bethlehem. They recognized the preciousness and joy of the Lord’s birth and then got busy.
Getting busy means that we too recognize the meaning and import of the tremendous joy that is the coming of the Lord. This requires two things, two kinds of busyness.
We must keep this solemn season before our eyes and in our hearts. Jesus’ coming was not a one-time event. His coming as man marks only a beginning. He constantly stands before our doors, always knocking, asking that we allow Him to enter our homes and our lives. We have to get busy in answering the door. We need to open ourselves to Him and carry out His will for us. We have to recognize that His coming again remains immanent. We have to get busy in making His presence known to those who are not hearing the knock, who do not recognize it.
We must also respond in a special way, particularly the men among us. We encourage them to get busy in answering Jesus’ special call, for He needs those men to go out, as those humble shepherds did. Jesus is knocking and they are being called to make known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.
Our Holy Church is so blessed for we are not a Church at rest. Right here, in our community, we are busy working diligently at making the Lord’s coming known. We have among us those humble shepherds who have responded with joy to the Lord’s call to be busy about the work of the Lord as bishops, priests, and deacons. Let us give thanks for God’s tremendous blessings to our community and our Holy Church, for all who commit their lives to being busy about the Lord’s work.