A Christmas Eve Story about Jesus and St. Jerome

I will love to share this story from St. Jerome which reminds us the real reason why the Word became flesh and why Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year:

800px-saint_jerome_writing-caravaggio_1605-6

Taken from  from Sister Mary Fidelis’ post at desertnuns.com:

After many years spent in Jerusalem translating the Word of God, Jerome finished his grand project just days before Christmas.  To celebrate his accomplishment, Jerome decided to spend Christmas Eve in nearby Bethlehem, in one of the many grottoes that dot the countryside. According to the ancient account, sometime around midnight Jesus appeared to him, saying “Jerome, what will you give me for my birthday?”

Immediately and enthusiastically, Jerome declared, “Lord, I give you my translation of your word.” But instead of congratulating him, Jesus simply replied, “No, Jerome, that is not what I want.”

Jerome was speechless. Then he began to complain and remonstrate with Jesus, asking why he had let him go on for forty years, far from home, laboring at something other than what God most wanted from him. But Jesus remained silent. Jerome started suggesting other ways of honoring Jesus’ birthday – fasting, becoming a hermit, giving his possessions to the poor. To each of these Jesus replied, “No. Jerome. That is not what I want most.”

Finally, Jerome protested, “Then you tell me, Lord. Tell me what would give you the most joy on your birthday, and you shall have it.

“Do you promise, Jerome?”
“Yes, Lord, anything at all.”
Jesus replied, “Give me your sins…


I wish everyone a Merry, Merry Christmas full of blessing and love.

God bless y’all!

Caleb

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6 thoughts on “A Christmas Eve Story about Jesus and St. Jerome”

    1. Anne,

      Thank you for the kind words!!!

      Indeed, I rather think that the story conveys a profound truth about our relationship with Christ and that is that he wants everything from us, especially our sins and that we should be willing to give everything for him, even our attachment for those sins. In that way when St. Jerome realized that he was holding on to his sins and gave them up to our lord by trusting in the Lord and renouncing them he grew in holiness and thereby ever closer to Christ.

      I am reminded of John the Baptist looks at Christ and saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the World (John 1:29).

  1. Yes I agree with you Caleb Jesus set us free from the Slavery of Sin but as you shared He said to St.Jerome; give me your Sins so he was not yet Perfected in Love. We are to put our Carnal Flesh to death by the Spirit’s empowering as we Aim to be Perfected in Love, which we see confirmed in the Scripture below and than we no longer Sin, we can’t, we have God’s Seed or Nature, we are Born Again, the Old has gone the New has come, we walk as Jesus did in Righteousness and Holiness.

    We are to work out our Salvation Caleb but not meaning work for it.

    God tells us to put our Carnal flesh to death……..

    Romans 8 :12-15 Therefore, brothers we have an obligation but it is not to the Sinful nature to live according to it or if you live according to the Sinful nature you will die but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life, appears then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death therefore whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

    Galatians 24 -26 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. if we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    2 Corinthians 7: 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, Perfecting Holiness in the fear of God

    God tells us to Aim to be Perfected in Love…….

    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore Perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect

    Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ let us go on unto Perfection not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of Faith toward God.

    Philippians 3:14-16 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as many as be Perfect be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless where to we have already attained let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    2Timithy 3:17 That the Man of God may be Perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    1John 4:16-19 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made Perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love. We Love Him because He first Loved us.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith I know Him and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word in him verily is the Love of God Perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith hebideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.

    2Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be Perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    God tells us when we are Born Again we no longer Sin……….

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to Sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on Sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    1John 5 18-20 We know that no one who is Born of God Sins but He who was Born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    God tells us to to reckon ourselves dead to Sin Wil not to say we will or do sin and we are to put to death by the Spirit our evil flesh which causes us to Sin and Aim to be Perfected in Love and we can do this because Jesus has set us free and no Temptation is greater then we can bear.

    Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto Sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    What we believe in our heart dominates our thoughts and becomes our words and actions. Proverbs 23:7a K.J.V

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who Sins is a slave to Sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from Sin and become Servants to God ye have your fruit unto Holiness and the end Everlasting Life. For the wages of Sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    What people get confused about Caleb are weaknesses and shortcomings, which we all have but they are not judged as Sin, such as Anger when it comes from grief or confusion is not a Sin but we do not hold onto bitterness an resentment and seek revenge instead of forgiving if we do it is Sin. Jesus came to heal not condemn , Man judges critically and without Love and Compassion because he looks on the outside but God sees the heart and knows the motivation or the reason.

    1John 3 – No one who lives in Him keeps on Sinning. No one who continues to Sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is Righteous, just as He is Righteous.

    Romans 6:18-20 Being then made free from Sin, ye became the servants of Righteousness.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God Perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    Colossians 3:4-6 When Christ, who is your life appears then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death therefore whatever belongs to your earthly nature sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming.

    1John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God and God in him. Herein is our Love made Perfect that we may have boldness in the day of Judgment: because as He is so are we in this world.

    Romans 6:6- 7 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of Sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to Sin because anyone who has died has been freed from Sin.

    As we know Caleb if we claim we have not Sinned and don’t need Salvation we are calling God a lair but if we continue to Sin we are still in darkness (1John1) yes we can be-forgiven if we come to heart repentance but that means we reject Sin and no longer Sin by the empowering of The Holy Spirit as we can see clearly confirmed in Scripture. Paul explained the weakness of the flesh in Romans 7 but shared what to do about it in Romans 8 and other Scriptures as noted above.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

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