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.
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.”