Have we really received Jesus?

My dear friends, 

My dear brethren, 

The Church, during the time  of preparation for the feast of  Christmas—in Advent—consid ers three different ways in which  Our Lord comes to us. 

The first coming is that which we celebrate especially today, on the  feast of Christmas: Our Lord’s  coming among men, through the  intermediary of the Most Blessed  Virgin Mary. 

The second is found in the readings of the Church in Advent: the  coming of Our Lord at the end of  time to judge all men. 

Lastly, the third coming of Jesus  is unique to each one of us: the coming of Jesus into our souls. 

And ultimately, if we meditate a little on the readings of the  Church over these weeks, we  realize that the most important of these comings is the one  that concerns us individually.  For if Our Lord chose to come  to earth, it was for each one of  us, for our salvation. And if Our  Lord is to come in the clouds of  heaven to judge us, He is coming  to see what we have done with  the means He gave us to attain salvation. 


The celebration of Christmas is  the feast that dwells in a special way on the coming of Jesus to  Bethlehem and imparts marvelous lessons. For when Our Lord comes in the clouds of heaven,  He will ask: “What did you do  with all the things I gave you?  How did you receive Me 

dur ing your earthly pilgrimage?  How did you receive Me in the  messages I sent? How did you  receive My apostles? How did  you receive My Sacrifice and My  sacraments?” 

And at that time, what will be our  answer? Dear brethren, may our  reply be that first given by the  Most Blessed Virgin Mary. How  did Mary receive Jesus? With  thanksgiving. As I was telling you yesterday, she sang her Magnifi cat. She received Him with all of  her soul when she pronounced her Fiat. 

God knows that she had the necessary and proper dispositions to receive Jesus worthily. 

Joseph too, after his hesitations about the Most Blessed Virgin  Mary, was granted extraordinary graces to receive Jesus and Mary. 

The story of Bethlehem is truly marvelous in this sense. When we meet the shepherds, to whom the  angels announce the coming of  Jesus, what do the shepherds do?  They could have said, as perhaps  many of us would have said, “But  it’s dark, it’s cold… we don’t  know the way… we won’t be able  to find Him…”

From Advent to Epiphany

This bestselling book by Fr. Troadec, offers you a daily liturgical meditation from the beginning of Advent to the Baptism of Jesus, richly supplemented with prayers, thoughts, and resolutions. A great resource for the start of the Liturgical Year.  The reader is then led through  the richness of the feasts from  Advent to the Epiphany, inviting  him to live each day with Jesus  and for Jesus 

They might have found many  reasons not to seek out Jesus. 

But no. That is not what the shepherds did. The Gospel tells us  they arose and “they came with haste” –festinantes—they has tened to find Jesus. They found  Him and they sang His praises. 

And we can imagine that they  gave Jesus a gift, perhaps a lamb,  a sign of what St. John the Baptist  would say later on, “Behold the  Lamb of God.” Perhaps they gave  Him some of the things they had  made from their flock’s wool or its milk, so that Mary and Joseph could see the love they had for  Jesus. 

And then, like true missionaries, the shepherds spoke. They spread the news, and those who heard them, the Gospel tells us,  were filled with wonder. They too sang the praises of God. 

Did not the angels encourage us to receive Jesus by singing their hymn, “Gloria in excelsis Deo:”  Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of goodwill? 

“And are we really living with Our Lord  Jesus Christ throughout our days?”   

And now we must ask ourselves,  my dear brethren, what have we  done up to now to receive Jesus?  

Did you hear what we have just  read in the Gospel: “Et sui eum  receperunt” (John 1:11): “And  His own received Him not.”  He came unto His own—for  everything belongs to Him, we  ourselves belong to Him—in pro pria venit et eum non receperunt.  They were like those at the inn of  Bethlehem, who did not want to  receive Our Lady and St. Joseph.  They did not receive Jesus. 

But those who receive Jesus, according to St. John in the Gospel,  they are the sons of God. What  have we done, my dear brethren?  Have we truly received Jesus? Do we truly live with Jesus? Has the  need for salvation truly penetrated our souls? For this is why  Jesus came here below. When the  Angel Gabriel came to the Blessed Virgin, he told her that the  holy one to be born of her would  be the Savior of the world. And he repeated the same thing to the shepherds: “This day is born to you a Saviour:” Salvator mundi.  He is also Salvator mundi for each one of us. 

It is necessary that we apply the power of the grace and resurrection of Our Lord to our souls. Let  us not be indifferent to Jesus.  

Like Mary, let us receive Jesus with the dispositions needed to  welcome Him worthily. 


Jesus has loved us so much. It  is true, we were not granted the  joy of being in Bethlehem—ah,  how happy we would surely  have been, had we been with the  shepherds, able to accompany  them to Mary and Joseph and to  see the Child Jesus—we would  have indeed been happy! But Our  Lord does even more for us, even  more than letting us hold Jesus  in our arms. We can receive Him  in ourselves through the Holy  Eucharist. 

Whenever we wish, every day, Jesus is available for us to receive  Him in us; for us to become in a  sense one with Him. 

As St. Paul says, “I live, now not  I; but Christ liveth in me.” 

All throughout the day, do we  truly live with Our Lord Jesus  Christ? Do we live with His spirit,  in His spirit? Do we keep His commandments? Do we recite  the prayers of preparation for  Communion in which we prom ise Our Lord never to separate  ourselves from Him again, never  more to separate ourselves from  Him? 

That is what is written in our  prayers before Communion. Is it  true that we will never separate  ourselves from Jesus? That is  what we must ask ourselves. And  that is the great lesson of Christ mas today. 

Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, let us ask St. Joseph, let  us ask the shepherds and the holy  Angels who surrounded Jesus at  His birth and who welcomed Him  with their whole hearts, let us ask  them to give us hearts like theirs  so that we too can receive Jesus  worthily in our souls and be true  missionaries. 

We must think of those who have  not received the graces we have  been given. Some do not know  Our Lord Jesus Christ; some  no longer receive Him. Today,  especially, we are in a time when  so much of the world has abandoned Jesus; those who knew  Him, have abandoned Him. 

So let us do everything in our  power so that our families, our  parents, our brothers, our sisters,  all our friends, all may know  Jesus once again and receive  Him, as did the Blessed Virgin  Mary and St. Joseph and the holy shepherds. 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

by Father Michel Rion