18th December

Today’s gospel is Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth. He is given the name Emmanuel, a name which means “God is with us” (Matt 1:23). I intend to use this theme for Sunday’s homily and to illustrate it with the well-known “Footprints in the Sand” story – below.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.Emmanuel

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,

other times there were one set of footprints.

 

This bothered me because I noticed

that during the low periods of my life,

when I was suffering from

anguish, sorrow or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints.

 

So I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,

that if I followed you,

you would walk with me always.

But I have noticed that during

the most trying periods of my life

there have only been one

set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most,

you have not been there for me?”

 

The Lord replied,

“The times when you have

seen only one set of footprints,

is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson

 

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