Ninth Day

A cold winter night has fallen over the hills of Bethlehem. After a long journey, Mary and Joseph have exhausted their efforts to find hospitality at the Inn and have finally taken refuge at the stable. They go inside and decide to spend the night here with a cow that probably was left there by a pilgrim who went to the city for shelter, and with the donkey that Mary rode during the journey.  These are the only source of comfort for the Divine Child, yet unknown to the human race. He will have to rely on these animals’ breath to give Him needed warmth on this cold winter night, to break the frigid cold. The reddish light from a lantern that Joseph holds in his hand provides light in the stable’s darkness.  It is as a prophetic manifestation of the wonders of the altar and the holy relationship that Jesus will have with men in this dark world. Mary is in a state of silent adoration as the time goes on during this night.

It is midnight and suddenly we see Baby Jesus lying in a manger that had been empty until now, a birth that has been anticipated and anxiously awaited since 4,000 years ago. The Virgin Mary’s heart is overflowing with love and adoration as she places the Baby in the manger. Joseph draws near to the Baby and worships Him, inaugurating the beginning of his ministry as the foster father of the Redeemer.

A Legion of Angels descends from Heaven to contemplate this wonderful miracle and start to sing joyfully the “Gloria in Excelsis;” it is an echo of adoration that goes around the Holy throne in heaven every minute, and that is even heard on earth for just a few moments. Many shepherds follow the Legion of Angels and begin to arrive at the manger with their humble gifts and they worship the Baby Jesus.

Far away in the Orient, the bright star of Jacob appears; it will guide three kings to Bethlehem, with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These are symbols of charity, adoration and sacrifice.

Oh beautiful Child! As we finish this novena in preparation for your birth, we want to offer our poor adoration as well. Please come into our hearts and fill us with your love. Enkindle in us devotion to your Holy childhood, not only in the celebration of your birthday, but always. May our faithful devotion deliver us from evil, plant the virtues in our souls, and lead us to eternal life.

(Novena continues like First Day)