Tonight joy overflows at Christ’s birth and the salvation He brought. All was dark before God sent him, but after his coming as Isaiah says: “Those in darkness have seen a great light”. So, as Paul says, we should live good holy lives as we await his second coming. The angels and shepherds proclaimed peace and good will. Now and always lets banish hatred from our lives.
What event in life brought you most enjoyment? Your first kiss, wedding day, or first child. Such events sustain us in dark times. The birth we celebrate tonight is similar. Before Christ all was dark, afterwards all was glorious. He came to a lost world as a helpless baby and human life was reborn. That frail child was love. Hymns like Silent Night but faintly capture that miracle of God’s love, we can’t thank Him enough for the gift of that divine child. For we live since as his blessed children.
We gather tonight to celebrate that gift. God loved us so much as to be born in a manger. Our carols only faintly capture that mystery. A child is born for us, a son is given us who is Christ the Lord. Mary gave Jesus the first kiss for us all; because He came to us in humble love and brought back our divine dignity, in the cold of Herod’s winter he made all dreams came true.
That should shake up even today’s hard secular world. God broke the veil between creature and creator, gave everything in this child. So Mary’s baby should soften even the hardest heart into faith, life and peace. And it should inspire all of us to treat those around us with great respect and love. For to harm a human being now, our brothers and sisters in Christ, is blasphemy. Our family is everyone – especially the old, sick, poor and lonely.
The need to celebrate all these blessings adequately explains why we go mad at Christmas. The Word became flesh and his birthday should be celebrated with excess. Becoming man, Christ made all material things holy. Any effort to divide the material and the spiritual since isn’t right. Christmas means food and drink as well as prayer, indeed it deserves 12 days of feasting. For the human body and God are one in this baby. He didn’t come an angel but eating and drinking, feeling cold and pain like us.
Because this is truly joy to the world, the angels got worked up: “today is born a Savior who is Christ the lord, peace on earth, goodwill to men”. Lets take to heart this message in an earth of war, suffering and hate. John Lennon wrote: “Do they know its Christmas Time At all”. We should work actively for peace not just at Christmas but always. Like a popular seasonal song says: “I wish that it was Christmas every day”.
Mary gave Jesus his first kiss on behalf of us all. Our good works are the kisses we give him this holy Christmas time. We are to spread His peace, love, goodness and happiness to those around us, now and in the new Year. For to that frail child belongs the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. All else is dross by comparison, it passes away to dust and ashes at last but He is lord of love goodness peace and joy both for this world and forever and ever amen. So as God’s people rejoicing at his birth and working to bring peace, love and a good standard of 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 the Pope 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 civil leaders here and throughout the world that they may live the Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all humankind..
For our wonderful youth, that this holy time may see them safe in the eternal arms of Christ, and tree to holy mother church..
For ourselves that wherever there is darkness in our lives we may dispel it with the light of God; may we bring peace, love, grace and happiness to our spouses, family and all at this holy time.
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 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 one day..
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.
“O holy child of Bethlehem descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today”.
So the carol says. It reminds us that unless Christ is born in our hearts and homes what happened in Bethlehem 2000 years ago is no cause for celebration. So lets pray that spirit of Christ and all he stands for may not only be our faith but also our life. That we may live in peace and good will to all. So that he’ll continue to be born in our world, may Mary keep us ever faithful to the son she bore and his eternal peaceful values…Hail Mary.