THERE was so little time. A stable was all Mary and Joseph could find. What went through Mary’s mind? She knew she was giving birth to the Savior, the Messiah… but in a little barn? Embracing God’s will once more, she entered the stable and began to prepare a little manger for her Lord.
Yes, Jesus, I wonder the same thing: You are coming to me, in this heart so poor and soiled? Yet, Lord, I will follow your Mother’s example. She did not ask Joseph to fix the drooping thatched roof. She did not ask him to straighten the leaning beams, or fill in the gaps where the night stars shone through. Rather, she quietly cleaned the resting place for her Son—a little wooden manger from which the sheep would eat. She swept it clean with her own mantle, then carefully arranged the fresh straw her husband brought her.
Lord, I cannot seem to fix my drooping will power. I seem helpless to straighten the leaning beams of my weakness. And I have failed to fill in the gaps of my soul with good deeds. I am truly poor Lord. But Mary shows me what to do: prepare my heart with the clean straw of humility. And this I do through acknowledging my sins before you—-you who promise to "forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing" (1 Jn 1:9). (Somehow, it seems that she is helping to rearrange my little heart with the help of her Spouse, the Holy Spirit…)
You did not shun the poverty of the stable, but condescended to the poverty of a manger. The walls of my soul are truly poor… but I have prepared my heart, my "manger," through your grace. And now, I wait for you to come. Let me love you Jesus! Let me kiss your brow. Let me hold you against my heart as Mary did that holy night.
For you did not come for a palace.
You came for me.
O Humble Visitor, you are coming for me!