Thursday, December 24, 2015
THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
December 25, 2015 - THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
Solemnity, White, Holyday of Obligation
Vigil: Is 62: 1 - 5 / Acts 13: 16 - 17, 22 – 25 / Mt 1: 1 - 25
Midnight: Is 9: 1 – 6 / Ti 2: 11 – 14 / Lk 2: 1 – 14
Dawn: Is 62: 11 – 12 / Ti 3: 4 - 7 / Lk 2: 15 - 20
Day: Is 52: 7 – 10 / Heb 1: 1 - 6 / Jn 1: 1 - 18
From the Gospel Reading at Midnight Mass: Lk 2: 6 - 7
They were in Bethlehem when the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the living room.
First Reading: Is 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.
Second Reading: Heb 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. 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.
Gospel: Jn 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, found life in him, life which for humans was also light. Light that shines in the dark: 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 already 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 all who have received him he empowers to become children of God for they believe in his Name. These are born, but without seed or carnal desire or will of man: they are born of God.
And the Word was made flesh; he had his tent pitched among us, and we have seen his Glory, the Glory of the only Son coming from 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.
The birth of Christ celebrates the grace given us that we do not have to rise to heaven to get to God, that God has come down to earth to us. The human birth of the Savior celebrates the fact that the boundless God had crossed over inconceivable and unknown borders and has personally bound and humbled himself to dwell with us as a man. An unbelievable and inconceivable happening which only Love can imagine and accomplish.
Why did God have to come in person to enter our world? In order to repay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt which we were unable to pay. God sought us out in our dire need and, finding us, chose to dwell among us. The birth of Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God's love and desire to save us, to be with us and to have us be with him.
Like the Son of God, we are born to love and to serve as he did. We should then seek out our neighbor and, finding him/her, love and serve him/her. Do we truly love our neighbor? Do we wish to share his/her pains and joys? Do we wish to be with him/her and help him/her?
Each one of us has something valuable to give. May each one of us learn how to love our neighbor and to use things in service of that love. May we learn to relate to one another in the power of love and not in love of power.
The birth of Jesus reminds us of a story on Abraham Lincoln. Though not a regular church-goer, President Lincoln was a man of deep faith. At a gathering with a group of ministers during the US Civil War, one of the ministers said, "Mr. President, let us pray that God be on our side." With far greater insight Lincoln replied, "No, gentlemen, let us pray that we be on God's side."
The birth of the Son of God celebrates the reality of God on our side. Are we on God's side?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
GIL & NORA CATALON & FAMILY
JUN & POLLIE DEZA & FAMILY
ROY & MARYVI FLORES & FAMILY
JEANNETTE & CHRISTOPHER CO CHAN
In memoriam - Cecilia Castillo-Katigbak
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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