THIRD DAY: NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
MARY, THE MOTHER WHO CLOTHES US WITH THE SCAPULAR
Listening to the Word: The birth (Lk 2: 1-20)
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Reflection: Luke, the Evangelist, relates the affectionate and motherly gesture of Mary who wraps little Jesus in swaddling clothes. A gesture made by every mother as a sign of protection and care. We too are wrapped in swaddling clothes by Mary, our Mother and Sister; through the Scapular she looks after us and protects us. She wraps us so that we may grow strong and robust in the school of her Son.
Prayer: Virgin Mary, you who wrap your Jesus in swaddling clothes, teach us to be always small so that we may "be carried in God's arms".
Virgin Mother, who warp your Jesus in swaddling clothes, help us to clothe ourselves with your Son, so that each day we may be a sign of God's love.
Virgin Mary, Splendour of heaven, hold us tight under your mantle.
My commitment is to clothe myself with the Scapular so that I may witness, even externally, to my love for Jesus and Mary. Above all, I wish that the Scapular may remind me to live every day in the school of Jesus, after the example of the Virgin.
Flower of Carmel
splendour of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden,
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,
whom no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
thy favours bestow,
Star of the sea.