Homily for Christmas day Year C (7)

Homily for Christmas day Year C

Theme: God’s love


Homily for Saturday December 25 2021

Christmas season is always full of activities, parties meetings, festivals, reunions, and all kinds of celebrations. All these, together with the carols, decorations, exchange of gifts and good wishes make the season and exciting one. If you were to ask a general question to people on the street about which is the greater feast between Christmas and Easter, many would likely say Christmas is the greater feast and agree that Easter is the most significant. If you go further to ask, between Christmas and New Year celebration, which brings greater excitement, the answer would shift slightly. Perhaps more people today celebrate New Year than Christmas because some people have the wrong notion that Christmas is for children.

Christmas fun – carols, decorations, hymns and other celebrations are simply signs that point to a deeper reality, but are not the essence of the celebration. The reason for the season is – The Word of God – Jesus Christ, who came into the world to live among human beings. The poetic hymn of the Evangelist John introduces Jesus, the Word of God in the following words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). God spoke this Word and all creation came to existence (Psalm 33:6) and so the Word is part and parcel of God. The Word is essentially God made visible in human history.

One wonders why God decided to come and live with his people. He made this decision for the following reasons:

1. To Demonstrate his Love to his Children: The famous scriptural passage John 3:16 says it all: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
2. To show that God is not as far away as people think. Our ancestors and many people today still see God as someone who is remote and they only recognize him as a transcendent (distant, high above God). By coming into the world, he adopted a new name Immanuel – God is with us. Thus God became for his people, not only a transcendent being, but also an immanent (present and close) being. He came close to people to establish a new relationship of love.
3. He came to comfort his people. Prophet Isaiah’s hymn predicted the mission of Jesus as a King who was to come into the world to restore, comfort and to bare his holy arms (manifest the power of God) (Isaiah 52:7-10).
4. Through Jesus Christ God came into the world to speak more directly to his people: “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors. In these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The greatest way that God communicated with us was by revealing himself and by making himself visible. The Second Vatican Council asserts, “Jesus Christ, sent as a man among men, speaks the words of God and accomplishes the saving work which the Father gave him to do…He did this by the total fact of his presence and self-manifestation – by words and works, signs and miracles, but above all by his death and glorious resurrection from the dead, and finally, by sending the Spirit of truth.
5. He came to the world to bring light and life: According to the Evangelist John: “Through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). Therefore, Jesus came into the world to revive us who are dead in sin and to bring light into our world that is engulfed in the darkness of evil (John 1:3-5). The name of Jesus, is derived from the Hebrew word, Joshua or Jehoshua, which means saviour and this name defines his mission in the world. He is indeed the Saviour of the world.
6. Jesus came to show the way: I love the Christian worship song, “Lord I Lift your Name on High” written by Rick Founds in 1989. The song aptly describes the reason for Jesus coming into the world. It says, “You came from heaven to earth, to show the way.” There is no better way of showing the way to a person who is totally lost than holding his hands and saying, “Come let us go together,” or to say “I will take there.” This is exactly what Jesus does to each of his followers. According to St. Charles Borromeo, Jesus was “Sent to show us truth itself, to teach us how we should live, to share with us the source of all goodness, and to enrich us with the treasures of his grace. Finally, he was sent to make us sons of the Father and heirs to eternal life.”

Yes, it is Christmas and a time to celebrate God’s goodness, blessings and love to us. Let us celebrate this in season and out of season. This is the reason St. Paul of the Cross says, “Celebrate the feast of Christmas everyday, even every moment, in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.

I wish you a very happy Christmas and may the joy, peace and blessing of the season remain always with you.

Christmas Day Year C; Isaiah 52:7-10; Hebrew 1:1-5; John 1 1:1-18

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