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Tall men were these, the shepherds come from flocks
And wearing sheephides with the dew still wet
Upon the wool…
No further movement
Till the youngest, kneeling still, moved on
From out the rest, and when his eyes had marked
The swaddling bands… and did not shrink at what he saw.
The full words spilled out to her in eagerness
Of quiet flocks, the brightness of the sky…
The music that had sifted
Down, more fragile than the light of stars…
The upswept choirs and surge and flight of wings:
I bring you tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger…Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of goodwill.
How swiftly the shepherds respond! How quickly do I respond to the call of God? What causes me to hold back an immediate response? The angels tell the shepherds, “I bring you tiding of great joy…” How can these words encourage me to respond more quickly. Why do you think it is the youngest who tells Mary about what he saw? Think of this in light of Is. 11:6 and Jesus words in Mk 10:14. What thoughts do you have?
(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)