Christmas – Mass During the Night
Is 9:1-6; Ps 96; Titus 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14
The Old Testament readings for the Christmas season are an expression of overwhelming joy. We can identify with their message because we, as sinners, have known the darkness that searches for light.
In our frailty we have sometimes experienced life as a yoke bearing down, a bar across the shoulders. Thus the birth of the Saviour will always be celebrated as a grace that promises light and peace to a troubled world.
“A people that walked in darkness has seen a great light, on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone. For there is a child born for us, a son given to us. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end.”
What we celebrate at Christmas is so much more than an event in the past. We celebrate the incarnate, living God, whose presence continues among us.
As we approach the manger in prayer, may we hear afresh the invitation that Christ’s birth represents.
“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The birth of Christ as the Word made flesh is surely the most perfect expression of a truly divine humility and gentleness. In this grace we find rest and peace in a joy that has echoed down the generations: “ ‘Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared with by the whole people. Today, in the town of David, a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng, praising God and singing. ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour.’ ”
May our voices, together with those of the shepherds in the field, swell that joyful chorus.
As we contemplate the humility with which Mary and Joseph welcomed Christ at his coming, may that same humility lead our divided nations and communities into a peace that unites all peoples.
With Mary, may we treasure and ponder in our hearts the wonder of Christ’s presence among us.
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