And in that region there were shepherds in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. . . . And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy . . . for to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.” – Luke 2:8–14.
George Weigel writes on the Nativity and Luke here.
Some thoughts from Bethlehem here.
From Rome tonight, Pope Francis talked, as he does, about mercy and joy:
On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). And I too repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.