Fr Vincent's reflections on Christmas
Onto us is born a Savior, Christ the Lord! Today, and not 2000 years ago, Christ is born for you and me and for our world. Hear the message; See the Christ child in our midst; Proclaim to all that Jesus is with us!
Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on Christmas
Read the Text: Christmas Day 2020
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. R/. And with your spirit.
On this Christmas Day 2020, using the prayers from the Mass at Midnight, let us pray:
O God, who have made this most sacred night
radiant with the splendor of the true light,
grant, we pray, that we, who have known the mysteries of his light on earth,
may also delight in his gladness in heaven.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
Please pause this video now to retrieve your Bible if you wish to follow along.
The Mass at Midnight Gospel is Luke 2:1-14.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever tried to imagine yourself a shepherd out in the field at night when the angel appeared? Let’s try to do that now . . . .
A shepherd is not a “man about town.” In fact, he has such a stinky job – taking care of sheep – that they would rarely come into town. So his life is basically living in the fields with the sheep, looked down upon by the town folk as not much better than the sheep they raised. And most likely thought of themselves as not worth much in this world – happy to be with the sheep and avoiding other people!
What a total shock to see a heavenly vision!! Even they would think, “I’m the last person on earth who deserves this honor.” Yet, so filled with God’s grace, they go running into town to see the truth of the angel’s message. And seeing the child, they forget their lower class status and become the first evangelizers!
You see, this is you and me, too. Nobody special by worldly standards, just faces in the crowd, easy to be judged and ignored by most people. But, tonight God sends us this angelic vision proclaiming the birth of the Savior of humanity, my Savior, your Savior. Nobody special becomes one of the chosen few to hear and see and share the great and awesome truth of God’s great love for humanity: onto us is born a savior who is Christ the Lord!
How do you feel now? Because this is no longer imagining yourself as a shepherd in the field some 2000 years ago. This is me and you on December 25, 2020, and through the words of Sacred Scripture, the angel speaks to you and me telling us of God’s great love. Hear it as the personal message it is, the personal message we need after a year like this! Hear it for yourself.
Now see it for yourself, too. How? Look into your heart and see the love of God that says you are special to Him. See Jesus choosing you for his vessel of love and peace and joy. Even if you believe you matter to no other human being, you matter to God, and Jesus is born for you, born within you, so your life can be changed, even as he changed the lives of the shepherds. God’s love is so wonderful and awesome that I can’t contain it, you can’t contain it. It bubbles out as joy, as we wish each other a “Merry Christmas.”
Now, understand how the shepherds had to share the news with everyone, regardless of how they were previously judged. The same goes for me and you. Allow God’s love to flow from your heart to those around you. Proclaim by word and action that our Savior is born today for our 2020 world, and God is changing our lives and our world!
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.