Homily for the Nativity of the Lord (Midnight Mass) A, B, C on the Gospel
Ps 96:1-3.11-13 (R. Lk 2:11)
Topic: “Glory to God in the highest heaven ….” (Lk 2:14).
The season of Advent has come to an end and with the Evening Prayer I of the Nativity of the Lord we entered the season of Christmas. We have every reason to thank God. These reasons include the gift of our Lord, Jesus Christ and that we are alive to celebrate this year’s memorial of his birth as a man. We also thank God because Christ has removed the fault of our first parents that shut the gates of heaven, cf. Gen 3. Through his birth, we have been made a kingdom of priests to God his Father and a holy nation, cf. Ex 19:6; 1Pt 2:9. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen (Rev 1:6, cf. Rev 5:10). For these among other innumerable reasons we sing with the multitude of the angles of God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!”
God who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see has been made man (mortal and visible), cf. 1Tim 6:16. The gospel according to Saint John reads: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14). What no human mind could conceive has been made possible. To him be glory both now and forever, cf. Rom 11:36.
We also sing with the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders for the new born King:
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth (Rev. 5:9-10).
As Christians, we have been buried with Him by baptism into death, so that we too may walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:4). Hence Saint Paul tells us that our bodies are members of Christ and should therefore not be defiled, cf. 1Cor 6:15.
During the transfiguration of Jesus, we see the responsibility attached to this unmerited gift of God. The voice of the Father was heard from the cloud: "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." (Mk 9:7, Matt 17:5, Lk 9:35). Saint Peter also cited Deut 18:15 in Acts of the Apostles: “The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you” (Acts 3:22). There is a warning attached to this call: “I shall put my words into his mouth and he will tell them everything I command him. Anyone who refuses to listen to my words, spoken by him in my name, will have to render an account to me” (Deut 18:19). In line with this prophesy, Jesus tells us: “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day” (Jn 12:48). And in the gospel according to Luke we read: Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28). We can ask ourselves how far we are ready to do what Christ tells us.
Christmas season goes with euphoria that often takes our minds away from the other forms of the coming of Jesus Christ that we are also called to prepare for especially during the Advent season. So, as we celebrate the season of Christmas, the season of Advent is still on because we still prepare to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist and secondly for when he will come again which will be either at our individual deaths or at the end of the world. May we therefore always imitate the crowd who readily welcomed Jesus because they waited for Him, cf. Lk 8:40, Jn 4:45. The new born King is telling us to wake from sleep and rise from the death of sin that He may give us light, (cf. Eph 5:14) because it is only those who fear God can praise him, cf. Ps 22:23. Saint Paul asks us to present our bodies as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship, cf. Rom 12:1.
Bible Reading: Gen 3; Rev 1:4-8; Eph 5:3-20.
Silent Prayer: How ready are you to glorify God for the gift of His Son?
Let us pray:
Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the birth of Christ your Son, may we always be found ready for His second coming – Amen!
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