Dec 25th, The Nativity of the Lord Year C

Introduction
What we celebrate tonight was the goal of all scripture and the prophets, the coming of the Christ. “Look your Saviour comes”, Isaiah says. Paul says the infinite kindness and love of God is revealed at last in Him. Lets pray this holy night for the grace to live in his light, and lets confess ways we fail in this..

Homily
What was the best event in your life, the one that brought you most joy. Your first kiss, your wedding day, your first job and pay-check, the birth of your first child. The event we celebrate tonight with such a blaze of light is all such joys rolled into one. For its God among us, come to save us in the form of a tiny child. The impact of this for all people is earth shattering: final freedom from darkness and evil; the coming of the dazzling light of God to transform our darkened world; the birth of hope and truth for man; the advent of the Savior promised from the beginning of the world. Hymns like the 12 days of Christmas but faintly capture that miracle. It lists all the gifts given by the true love to his beloved. The true love is God and we’re the beloved in the original meaning of the song. We all receive gifts tonight but there paltry in comparison to the gifts showered on us by the infant Jesus. That small bundle cradled in a mothers arms in a stable far away conquered despair, darkness, death and evil for us forever. Choirs sing: “Joy to the World, the Saviour reigns”. His coming was just that, untold joy to the world.
Lest we reduce Christmas to a cynical booze-up lets remember that. Our heavenly Father loved us so much, He sent us his son. People come home this time of the year. We all came home at the nativity. God opened a home of love for us all in the form of his frail human son and his outstretched arms should soften the hardest heart. The fact that you’re here means you’ve come God’s home to say thanks, to shout like the angels: “glory to our God in the highest heaven and peace on earth, goodwill to men”. For the call is not only to celebrate but live the peace brought by Christ. The Christmas decoration of love in our hearts is the real tinsel God wants, treating all our brothers and sisters on earth with equal respect, peace and love. They’re all our family now, especially the old, the sick, the poor and the lonely.
The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. As the children sing for us, we remember that the joy of Christmas is also in dance, music and partying. Indulging in fine food and drink remind us that this is a time when we rightly celebrate to excess. Worldly cynics say, “why all the fuss about Christmas”, but that only makes sense to faithless hearts. Mary cradles Our Lord in her arms and all is calm all is bright now. For we’re also safe in her arms from cold and darkness. Sure many revert to a dark pagan winter today rejecting that light and life. But we make no apologies for celebrating “The First Noel” in a blaze of light. For tonight Mary gave Jesus his first kiss on behalf of us all. Its our first kiss, our wedding, our first baby too; all our joys rolled into one. Its the restoration of the paradise our first parents threw away. The wise celebrate that to excess at Christmas and each time they come to give thanks. For the godless values of a hard materialistic world pass and fail to satisfy us deep down but Jesus is lord of life, love, happiness, grace, beauty and peace both for this world and forever and ever, amen.
So as God’s people gathered in faith, love and joy on this night of nights with angelic choir voices lifting us up to heaven, lets make our profession of faith with new meaning..

Prayers of the Faithful
And as God’s people rejoicing at his birth and working to bring peace, love and enjoyable living to all this Christmas and throughout the new year, we make our profession of faith..

Prayers of the faithful
We pray for our Holy Father and all church leaders that they may be ambassadors of peace and world equality, and so bring Christ’s saving presence to the whole world this holy time…

For ourselves that where there is darkness in our lives we may dispel it with God’s light, attain peace, love, and happiness in our hearts and souls, and full enjoyment in our lives..

For the sick, the old, the lonely and the depressed that through our love and care they may know the love, comfort and healing of Christ this holy Christmas time and always..

For lasting peace in our country and in the world, that brotherly togetherness may break out everywhere, and all may live the angels’ message of universal peace, good will among men..

For all those who have died in the peace of Christ, especially the relatives and friends who cant be with us this Christmas, that God may lead them safely to the heavenly home where we will be reunited with them in full eternal love and happiness.

And we make all these prayers with confidence on this holiest of nights, through Christ our Lord, born for us in a stable of love.

Reflection:
Santa Clause is very commercialized today. But the original Santa Clause, St.Nicklaus, echoes the main Christian spirit of Christmas, charity. He was a rich man who lived in the Ukraine, a very cold country, hence the woolly clothes and sleigh. He gave away all his riches to the poor. But being a humble man who didn’t want to trumpet his Christian goodness, he went around at night, in the dead of winter, and especially at Christmas, to leave goodies on people’s window sills or at their doors. When they got up in the morning they found the presents and rejoiced. So Santa Clause was born in this great saint who made giving his whole life. Lets pray to Mother Mary that we’ll have the same giving Christian hearts at Christmas and always…Hail Mary

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