December 24, 2017
(This Gospel passage is for Mass at Dawn on Christmas Day)
The Shepherds – The First
After Mary and Joseph, shepherds were the first human beings to hear of the birth of the Savior.
Because of their work and their living situations, shepherds were social and religious outcasts. As Pope Francis put it, “They were considered pagans among the believers, sinners among the just, foreigners among the citizens.” 
Yet, they were the first to hear the good news of the birth of the Savior proclaimed by the angel.
They responded and went to meet the Savior. They praised God. Then shared the news with others.
They lowly people of the land became the recipients and sharers of God’s salvation.
 Pope Francis, Homily at Mass During the Night, Christmas 2017.
Image: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Adoration of the Shepherd, c. 1650, Wikipedia