Monday, December 24, 2007
Christmas, Solemnity of the Lord's Birth
Christmas, Solemnity of the Lord's Birth
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad
tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation,
and saying to Zion, "Your God is King!" Hark! Your sentinels raise a
cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their
eyes, the LORD restoring Zion. Break out together in song, O ruins of
Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem. The
LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the
ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.
Brothers and sisters: In times past, God spoke in partial and various
ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has
spoken to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and
through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his
glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by
his mighty word. When he had accomplished purification from sins, he
took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as far
superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent
than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say: "You are my
son; this day I have begotten you"? Or again: "I will be a father to
him, and he shall be a son to me"? And again, when he leads the
firstborn into the world, he says: "Let all the angels of God worship
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be
through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be
through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome
it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to
testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was
not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which
enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of
God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural
generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God. And
the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his
glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I
said, 'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he
existed before me.'" From his fullness we have all received, grace in
place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace
and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The
only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him.
In the Infant Jesus, the Christmas Word has been proclaimed to you.
And that proclaimed Word has three stages. First, the anxious waiting.
It is expressed by the lips of a Hebrew prophet, Isaiah: all those
endless days when a people walked in darkness, when the land was
deeply shadowed, when joy was indeed there but ambiguous and muted,
when the experience of God's people stressed a yoke that weighs a bar
across the shoulders. But he will come.
Second, the actual coming. It is expressed in the simplest of
narratives: a journey and a birth, shepherds watching and angels
singing, good news, great joy, to be shared by all. He has come.
Third, the theological reflection. In this child so anxiously awaited,
so simply come, in him God's grace has been revealed, salvation has
been made possible for all, we are to give up everything that does not
lead to God, and wait in hope. He will come again.
One of the greatest Christians of modern times was Toyohiko Kagawa of
Japan. Kagawa's parents died when he was a small child. He was raised
by relatives who mistreated him in many ways. In time he contracted
tuberculosis and was dying.
Then one day, he had an experience very much like the one St. Paul had
on the road to Damascus. A great light flooded the room he was in.
Kagawa was overwhelmed by the feeling of God's presence.
The experience transformed him physically and spiritually. Kagawa's
response to the experience was just as dramatic as St. Paul's. He
devoted the rest of his life to helping Japan's poor and neglected.
Kagawa wanted to share with them the great hope that came into his
life on that day, when his room was flooded with the light of the
As that light dispelled the darkness of his world and brought hope to
it, so he wanted to do the same for the poor and the neglected of the
slums of Japan.
Before Jesus entered our world, people were like Kagawa in his room:
sick, dying, and without hope. Their lives were filled with darkness
and despair. After Jesus entered our world, people were like Kagawa
after his religious experience: transformed and filled with hope and
Christmas is an invitation for each one of us to discover in ourselves
a dimension of goodness, which we call Jesus Christ. It's an
invitation to let that dimension shine forth into the darkness of
Christmas celebrates the fact that the infinite God at a point in time
crossed an unimaginable border and personally entered our world. The
Christmas image of Jesus is that of a light shining in the darkness.
Christmas celebrates the fact that when Jesus entered our darkened
world hope also entered.
What Jesus was to the world of his time, he wants us to be to the
world of our time. We, too, must be a ray of hope in the midst of
A Blessed Christmas to You!
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Damaso Guevara and Eligia Fernando
- Herminia Guiden
- Ginger Larson
- Liza and Cyril
- Isabel Maloles
... for the personal intentions of Josephine Pascua ... for the
eternal repose of the souls of
- Remberto, Estrella, Florence and Danilo
- Milagros C. Reyes
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Caridad V. L.
- Birthday: Chua Giok Yean (Lota Chua)
- Birthday: Letty Lee
- Personal intentions: Maricel Castriciones
- Thanksgiving: Castillo Family
- Thanksgiving: Joanne Belmonte
- Wedding Anniversary: Paul & Chelo Jarme ... for world peace and
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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