In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed (ἐταράχθη), and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet…” (Mt 2: 1-5)

So the news of Christ’s birth did not generate “great joy” in most of the people who heard about it. For Herod “and all Jerusalem with him” it was rather “disturbing,” and unpleasantly so. How could this be? Wasn’t this a religious society, aware of the Scriptures and prophecies, with religious authorities like the chief priests and scribes capable of understanding them? Yes. But this religious society was self-sufficient in its authorities and ways of doing things. The “interference” of the Holy Spirit, over Whom these authorities had no control, was not welcome in their midst.

Today as I continue the Nativity Fast, I am reminded to remain humbly open to any “disturbances” that may be caused by letting Christ into my day. Let me welcome His way of doing things, which is the way of the Cross. I may have to take a step back, letting go of neediness and self-seeking, being quietly useful to Him and others. I need not fear nor be “disturbed” by His way, because I know that His self-giving, in me, brings me “great light,” according to the beautiful prophecy of Isaiah: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” (Is 9: 2) To that I say: "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Rev 22: 20)

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