MANGER / NATIVITY SCENE
The tradition of having a nativity scene or "crèche" was made popular by St. Francis of Assisi. It is a reproduction of the cave in Bethlehem with Mary, Joseph, the infant Jesus in a manger, shepherds, angels, and animals. Each night during Advent, children are encouraged to place in the manger one piece of straw for each good deed done that day by a family member. This Advent tradition combines the spirit of conversion and the coming of Jesus. There is a blessing ceremony provided by the Church in the Book of Blessings for the crèche.
Week 1: Saturday
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows. (Isaiah 30:26)
God, while His ways are still mysterious to us, is not on the sidelines of our lives. Just as Isaiah predicted, He has come, in Jesus, to bind up the hurt of His people, and through Jesus presence is still active in the world.
Find an opportunity today to be the hands of God, and "bind up" someones hurt. Say a kind word and listen with compassion to someone who is suffering.
Before going to bed, say a decade of the rosary for your mother.
Lord, flood me with Your light, and help me to brighten the lives of those whom I find most dark.