The Christian mysteries are an indivisible whole. If we become immersed in one, we are led to all the others. Thus the way from Bethlehem leads inevitably to Golgotha, from the crib to the Cross. When the Blessed Virgin brought the Child to the temple, Simeon prophesied that her soul would he pierced by a sword, that this Child was set for the fall and the resurrection of many, for a sign that would be contradicted. His prophecy announced the Passion, the light between light and darkness that already showed itself before the crib.
In some years Candlemas and Septuagesima are celebrated almost together, the feast of the Incarnation and the preparation of the Passion. The star of Bethlehem shines in the night of sin. The shadow of the Cross falls on the light that shines from the crib. The light is extinguished in the darkness of Good Friday, but it rises all the more brilliantly as the sun of grace on the morning of the Resurrection. The way of the incarnate Son of God leads through the Cross and Passion to the glory of the Resurrection. In His company the way of every one of us, indeed of all mankind, leads through suffering and death to this same glorious goal.
Saint Edith Stein
The Mystery of Christmas: Means of salvation
Stein, E 1931, The mystery of Christmas: incarnation and humanity, translated from the German by Rucker, J, Darlington Carmel, Darlington UK.
Featured image: Presentation of Christ in the Temple, Baccio della Porta, known as Fra Bartolomeo (1516), Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna