Novenas for the Birth of Jesus (Posadas)
Catholics have been praying novenas ever since Mary and the Apostles prayed for nine days (Acts 1:13-14). Almost every nation has their own traditions of praying the novenas in their own culture.
Close to our home, on Dec 16, the Mexican tradition begins with the reenactment of the walking in the streets with the pregnant Mary and St. Joseph looking for a place for Jesus to be born. They pray the Holy Rosary and sing songs. At the end of the praying and singing, they are invited into a home to get punch and treats. This is done for nine days leading up to Christmas. They sing a beautiful song that reflects the Gospel passage (Lk. 2; 1-7.) The whole purpose of the Novena is to take nine days to prepare for the birth of Jesus on Christmas. We relive what St. Joseph and Mary went through to find a place for Jesus to be born.
What we all know, but tend to ignore, is that Jesus, God, who created Heaven and Earth, was born in the poorest place on earth, in a cave for animals. You would think that there would have been one kind person worrying about a pregnant woman, so that she could have had a clean warm room to give birth in. But that was not the case. God could have created or prepared a place for His son; but he did not. He wanted to be born like every poor person. He wanted to be born in the humble home of our hearts.
In our busy schedule for celebrating the birth of Jesus, let us not miss Jesus or forget Jesus. Let us “keep Christ in Christmas”. Let us pray for all those doctors and nurses who fail to show charity toward pregnant women and those assisting in abortion; and for mothers, family members and friends helping taking babies out of the warm clean room of the womb to be killed by an abortion. Every time a child is aborted a birth of Jesus is denied and a Jesus is killed. What can we do? Jesus is looking for a clean warm home to be a guest in.
Let us journey with Joseph and Mary during these novena days (posadas) and open the door of our lives for Jesus to be born.