Tuesday, December 24, 2013
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
December 25, 2013
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Vigil: Is 62: 1-5 / Ps 89: 4-5. 16-17. 27. 29 (2a) / Acts 13: 16-17. 22-25 / Mt 1: 1-25. Midnight: Is 9: 1-6 / Ps 96: 1-2. 2-3. 11-12. 13 / Ti 2: 11-14 / Lk 2: 1-14. Dawn: Is 62: 11-12 / Ps 97: 1. 6. 11-12 / Ti 3: 4-7 / Lk 2: 15-20.
Day: Is 52: 7-10 / Ps 98: 1. 2-3. 3-4. 5-6 (3c) / Heb 1: 1-6 / Jn 1: 1-18
Isaiah 52: 7-10
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who herald peace and happiness, who proclaim salvation and announce to Zion: "Your God is king!" Together your watchmen raise their voices in praise and song; they see Yahweh face to face returning to Zion. Break into shouts of joy, O ruins of Jerusalem, for Yahweh consoles his people and redeems Jerusalem. Yahweh has bared his holy arm in the eyes of the nations; all the ends of the earth, in alarm, will witness God's salvation.
Hebrews 1: 1-6
God has spoken in the past to our ancestors through the prophets, in many different ways, although never completely; but in our times he has spoken definitively to us through his Son. He is the one God appointed heir of all things, since through him he unfolded the stages of the world. He is the radiance of God's Glory and bears the stamp of God's hidden being, so that his powerful word upholds the universe. And after taking away sin, he took his place at the right hand of the divine Majesty in heaven. So he is now far superior to angels just as the name he received sets him apart from them. 5 To what angel did God say: You are my son, I have begotten you today? and to what angel did he promise: I shall be a father to him and he will be a son to me? On sending his Firstborn to the world, God says: Let all the angels adore him.
John 1: 1-18
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 were made through him, and without him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, 4 found life in him; life, which for human beings, was also light, light that shines in darkness, light that darkness could not overcome. A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light; for the Light was coming into the world, the true Light that enlightens everyone. He was in the world, and through him the world was made, the very world that did not know him. He came to his own, yet his own people did not receive him; but to all who received him he empowers to become children of God, for they believe in his Name. These are born, but not by seed, nor carnal desire, nor by the will of man: they are born of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness. John bore witness to him openly, saying, "This is the one who comes after me, but he is already ahead of me, for he was before me." From his fullness we have all received, favor upon favor. For God had given us the Law through Moses, but Truth and Loving-kindness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God-the-only-Son made him known: the one, who is in and with the Father.
Today we celebrate what we have been waiting for in 'joyful hope' for so many weeks now! Today we celebrate that day when the eternal Word of God became one of us and one with us, finding a home in our homes and in our hearts. There is no greater Christmas gift than the gift we celebrate today. There is no greater Christmas gift giving than the gift giving we celebrate today.
The gospel accounts of what happened on the first Christmas are accounts of marvelous greatness. There is a heavenly choir of angels praising God and announcing wonderfully good news to the needy and the waiting world. The message of the angels is passed on to men working in the night fields of Bethlehem, inviting them to see for themselves that the long-awaited Messiah has been born in the royal city of King David. The night sky is illuminated with the brightness of Divine Glory. Such signs of greatness are signs that this Gift of God is so very special and extraordinary. It is not surprising that the angels have to give an assurance that there is nothing to fear and that these signs are signs of really good news.
There are, however, other signs of the greatness of this night, the humble and simple events that simply give way to reverent wonder. The birthplace is an animal's loft, not a well-equipped room in a traveler's inn. The crib is a manger, not a fancy cradle. The new- born infant is not clothed in richly crafted garments but is wrapped in swaddling clothes. Attending visitors are shepherds rushing in from their fields, not courtiers ready to provide comfortable assistance.
Today's Christmas story is, therefore, a story of true greatness that is at one and the same time divinely magnificent and humanly simple. It is a story that is at one and the same time superbly heavenly and yet humbly earthly. It is a story of what is divine showing itself in what is human. It is the story of the birth of God made Man.
But what we read in this Christmas story is not just an account of an event that took place more than twenty centuries ago. It presents us today with the challenge to find true greatness not in worldly glory but in humble simplicity. Of course we will mark this day with all of our traditional expressions of reverent and joyful celebration. And rightly so! This is a day of great rejoicing! But let us always keep in our minds and in our hearts the lesson that the Christmas Infant will teach us by the life he begins to live today, that real greatness is found in humble simplicity and that the lowly are the ones who are really exalted in God's eyes.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Lorenzo Meoli
… for the personal intentions of Beny Chua
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Emmanuel G. Osalvo
- Birthday: Oliver Olonan
- Birthday: Alex Dematera
- Birthday: Natividad Atillo
- Wedding Anniversary: Mary & Christopher S. Lim
- Wedding Anniversary: Jeannette & Christopher Co Chan
- Thanksgiving: Castillo Family
- Prayer Intention: Erlinda E. Hao
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
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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