Homily for Christmas Midnight Mass
Theme: Encounter with Christ
By: Fr. Patrick
Homily for Wednesday December 25 2019
My dear friends, tonight we celebrate the central event of history: the incarnation of the Divine Word for the redemption of humanity. That’s it in a nutshell! We celebrate the central event of history: the incarnation of the Divine Word for the redemption of humanity . St. John the Evangelist puts it most succinctly as ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (Jn 1:14). In the darkness of the night of Bethlehem, the Creator of the universe took on flesh, that is, became a human person, uniting himself indissolubly with human nature, and yet remains God from God, Light from Light . God is not some sublime or remote being, not a universal law to be obeyed, but rather a Person who is concerned with every individual person. For many people this seems to be too good to be true. But because God has taken on our humanity, God has accomplished four gifts for us; that is God has made himself
1. a friend to each of us,
2. is very close to us,
3. has time for each of us, and
4. has come to stay with us.
[Repeat God has made himself…]
We see God accomplishing these four gifts for us in the life and ministry of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
My friends, we could ask is it dignified for God to take on our humanity with all the limitations this entails, to make himself a child? If we are to seek to open our hearts to this truth that illuminates the whole of human existence we must bend our minds and recognise the limitations of our intelligence. In the grotto of Bethlehem God shows himself to us as a humble infant to defeat our arrogance. We might have submitted more easily to a show of power and wisdom, but he doesn’t want us to submit, rather, God appeals to our hearts and to our free decision to accept his love. He made himself tiny to set us free from that human claim to grandeur that results from pride. He became flesh freely in order to set us truly free, free to love him.
My friends, at Christmas we can meditate on the meaning and value of our existence. We can reflect on the drama of history in which we, injured by sin, are continuously in search of happiness, to be able to live a fulfilled life and have a happy death. Today’s feast helps us to meditate on the merciful kindness of God who has come to humanity to communicate directly with us, to enable us to partake in God’s friendship and life.
Therefore this Christmas may we allow ourselves to receive as a gift the Light, the Joy and the Peace that shines through this mystery. May we welcome the nativity of Jesus as an event that can renew our lives today. May our encounter with the child Jesus make us people who do not think only of ourselves, but open ourselves to the needs and expectations of our sisters and brothers, the rest of humanity. In this way we too will become witnesses of the radiance of Christmas that shines on us, the people of the third millennium.
Homily inspired by Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 17/12/2008
May our encounter with the child Jesus open ourselves to the needs and expectations of our sisters and brothers