On the passage from, "His father and mother were astonished at these things that were being said about him," up to the point
where it says, "Behold, he has been destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel."
THE GOSPEL SAYS, "And his father and mother were astonished at these things that were being said about him."1. Let us gather into one those things that were said and written about Jesus at his birth. Then we shall be able to know the single points, each of which merits our astonishment. Wherefore, both his father--for Joseph has also been called this because he was his foster-father--and his mother were astonished at all that was being said about him. What are these things that had been reported about the infant Jesus? "There were shepherds in that region, who stayed awake and kept the night watch over their flock."2. At the very hour of Jesus' birth, an angel came and said to them, "I announce a great joy to you. Go and you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger."3. The angel had hardly finished speaking and behold, "a great number of the heavenly army"4. began to praise and bless God. When the shepherds pondered this message anxiously and "the angel had left them, they said to one another, 'Let us go to Bethlehem and see the event that the Lord has revealed to us.'"5. They went, and they found the infant. Both they and the parents were astonished at what had taken place.____________________