Homily for Christmas Eve Year C
Theme: MAKING A ROOM FOR JESUS IN OUR HOME!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Friday December 24 2021
*Is 9 : 1 – 7, Titus 2 : 11 – 14, Lk 2 : 1 – 14.
Birthday celebrations have become one of the most rampant events in today’s society. What is significant to us here is not the idea of the celebrations but their spiritual impacts on our lives. If a day of praise and gratitude to God turns out to become a day that we offend God most then something is wrong somewhere.
*A story was told of a modern birthday party celebrated in America where the child was systematically kept away. When people finally remembered to ask for the whereabout of the child, the response of the parents were that the child was kept with grandparents because he will disturb them with his crying.
And that’s the greatest tragedy of our Christmas celebrations today: that the PRINCE OF PEACE is kept somewhere far away from the whole celebration. The most touching statement in tonight’s gospel account therefore is that: ‘There was no room for them (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) in the Inn at Bethlehem). We would soon understand why.
B. BORN TO A PEOPLE IN DARKNESS
Today’s 1st reading says that Jesus was born to a people that lived in darkness; 1st is the darkness of idolatry. People were busy worshipping either the wrong god or the right God in the wrong way. 2nd is the darkness of injustice and oppression. People were busy oppressing the less privileged ones and impounding what belonged to others. 3rd is the darkness of corruption. People were busy wallowing in sins and crimes. The 1st reading announces that the people that lived in such ignorance have seen a great light through the gospel of Christ.
C. BORN DURING A PERIOD OF CENSUS
Jesus was born at a politically critical period in Israel when they were under the cruel military and colonial regime of Emperor Caesar Augustus who issued a decree for a census while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Like the period of registration of voters, politicians were strategizing as they are still doing today on how to perpetuate their evil regime. Jesus was born into that environment and that was why he was not welcome anywhere by human beings except by animals in a manger.
Herod wanted to do away with him because he didn’t want any form of rival. Our corrupt politicians would hardly ever want to relinquish power into the hands of the righteous. They would never accept to create a fecund ground for free and fair elections even as we get into the election year 2022.
D. BORN AS A MESSIAH
He is the wonderful counselor; Through his sermon on the mount, his wise counsels and teachings, a new world religion/ ideology and a new spiritual dispensation was born. We can see the summary in the great sermon on the mountain, Matt 5, 6 & 7.
He is a mighty God; Through faith in him people were to receive deliverance from every kind of spiritual captivity, Col 1 : 12.
He is the eternal father; Through him, with him and in him, every sin, fault and crime will be pardoned and he is going to act like a Shepherd onto his people, 2 Cor 5 : 18.
He is the prince of peace; Through him, all tribes and tongues and people and nation would unite and sheath their swords in a new civilization of love and peace, Jn 20 : 21.
E. NO ROOM FOR THEM AT THE INN
The most unfortunate part of the story is that the world was/ is too busy for Jesus. John says that the light has come into the world but men prefer darkness to light, Jn 1 : 9. He was born in a manger as a sign of contradiction to a world driven by the illusion of affluence and chose to be a carpenter for 30 years.
My experience is that people are still rejecting the gospel of salvation preached by Jesus and preferring their old ways of life; old ways of worship, old ways of masquerading, old ways of thinking (in the name of protecting the people’s culture), old ways of offering and doing barzar, old ways of praying, old ways of marrying and burying the dead, old ways of noisy celebrations through guns and knock outs, etc.
The angels were sent to help us recognize a new paradigm shift; They were sent to announce the new born King of kings. A host of angelic choir were convened for praise worship and they sang the GLORIA for the 1st time on earth. The heavens expect us to join them in this praise worship in every holy mass.
What is our own role in this whole drama of salvation? In spreading the message of wisdom from the wonderful counselor; the gospel of deliverance from the mighty God; the sacrament of healing and reconciliation from the everlasting father and prince of peace. We must try to make a room for our Lord Jesus Christ in our homes.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS beloved friends!