Homily for Christmas Mass year A 2013
I went to the supermarket today to buy some chocolates for the children in this mass, and I could see there are many things on special. In fact the ones I was looking for were quickly selling because they are on special too. It made me think, that actually one reason we have Christmas or celebrating Christmas is because we are special too, not ON SPECIAL as discounted but SPECIAL as in PRICELESS.
If we realize this, then our Christmas celebration must be really a meaningful one. We are special, not in the eyes of the World but because God makes us to be so. The world would say to us, we can only be special if we have this thing, or live in this kind of house, or have this pretty face, or drive this very expensive car. But God looks through our hearts. We are special for him not because we are rich, or have the things that we wanted to have, but because our true value is in our hearts not on the externals. For God, we are worth every penny, we are worth risking for and we are worth dying for.
If we were not special, he wouldn’t bother to be born like one of us so that we would become like him- a resident of his heavenly kingdom. If we were not special for him, he wouldn’t take the risk of stripping himself of his glory and majesty and chose to be born in a very humble condition, from a poor and simple family of Nazareth. If we were not special for him, he would have just left us completely groping in the dark of our sins and sinful human condition.
Yet, he loves so, that he sent his only Son, Jesus– the one who would save us from our sins. We are that special, that St Paul could say in our Second reading tonight: ‘God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us…to give up everything that does not lead us to God.’ This means that because we are special, God even didn’t withhold for us the source of his graces and the fountain of his riches.
If we were not that special to him, we wouldn’t have heard the ‘news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole world: THAT GOD is born for us, that God has come in the flesh to show us that there is more to life than our sinful nature.
If we are special and if God gives us a special gift of himself as we have remembered and re-lived tonight, then this calls for a celebration and rejoicing. We are to celebrate our value, we are to be rejoicing as we received the gift that the God has given us- Jesus our Lord.
To appreciate this gift all the more too, calls us for a careful reflection and gaze at the child in the manger. As we have seen, he was not wrapped in a fancy wrapping. He was not born from a rich family. He was not born in the Children’s hospital wherein he could get all the comfort he needs. He was born in a poor, simple family, and wrapped only with a swaddling clothes. But, in the new-born child in the manger, we could see that the value of the gift is not on the fancy wrapping, or the size of the gift, but on what’s inside and what does it mean for us. Jesus has come, though in poverty, as God who saves us from our sins, and this is one good reason why we celebrate Christmas.
To receive the gift of God for us is to acknowledge our sins of poverty too. This means that we accept the fact that we need God, that we need one another, that we need a saviour, that we are weak, vulnerable, that we can’t whatever we want, and that not everything is beyond our control.
Another way to receive Christ this Christmas is to open our hearts to the other Christs in the streets, in the homes, in our workplaces, everywhere- i.e. the people who like the child in the manger are weak, helpless, vulnerable, simple, and hungry for our love, our care, our support, our time and our compassion. I’m thinking particularly this time the many children in the world who are caught up in the socio-political conflict, and for those families and lives perished due to the many disasters (natural or man-made) that had happened around the world this year. This Christmas is an opportunity for us to realize that Christ is born for everyone, so we also have the task to look for him in everyone, and to let everyone know that God cares for them, that God is Emmanuel, He is with all of us, among us.
Finally to make Christ alive and born in our hearts, we must always remember the child in the manger in our Christmas celebrations and parties. Let us always bear this in mind that Christ is the one who helped us realize again that we are special in the eyes of God, and that we are sons and daughters of God. If we forgot him the Christmas, we are missing the point of this celebration, and we are just like lost in the middle of the desert, in the oasis with no water at all.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET US RESERVE A SEAT FOR CHRIST IN OUR DINING TABLES and in OUR HEARTS.
With peace and the blessings from the Most High, I wish you all a blessed and a solemn Christmas celebration.
Merry Christmas everyone.