Now the prophecy draweth nigh to its fulfilment, which mystically said: And thou, Bethlehem, land of Judah, who from aforetime dost prepare the cave, art not the least among the princes; for out of thee shall come forth unto me in the flesh a Ruler of the nations, even Christ our God, from a Virgin Maiden; He shall shepherd His people, the new Israel. Let us all give Him glory.
Verse from the Royal Hours for the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Reading from the Prophet Michaias. (5:2-4).
Thus saith the Lord: And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, art not few in number among the thousands of Judah; for out of thee shall one come forth to me, to be a ruler of Israel; and his goings forth were from the beginning, even from the days of eternity. Therefore shall he appoint them to wait till the time of her that travaileth; she shall bring forth, and then the remnant of his brethren shall return to the sons of Israel. And the Lord shall stand, and see, and shepherd his flock in might, and they shall dwell in the glory of the name of the Lord their God: for now shall they be magnified even to the ends of the earth.
Verses from the Royal Hours:
Make ready, O Bethlehem; let the manger be prepared, let the cave show its welcome. The Truth is come, the shadow is passed away; coming forth from a Virgin, God hath appeared to men formed as we are, and deifying that which He hath assumed. Wherefore, Adam is renewed with Eve, as they cry out: Thy good pleasure hath appeared on earth to save our race.
O wonder past wonder, the King and Fashioner of all things is willing to dwell on Earth as man, born in cave in the City of David, and nestled by the ox and the ass. The irrational beast is willing to do that which man is not, to offer love, protection, and warmth to the new-born babe, Who is Christ the Lord.
The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know me, and the people has not regarded me. Esaias 1:3
On this day, the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to God the Word ineffably, Who was before all the ages. Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child Who before the ages is God.
“For unto you is born this day in the City of David, Christ the Lord”