Sunday, December 24, 2017
THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
December 25, 2017 – MONDAY, THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
Solemnity with Octave, 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 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.
The Christmas story is a story of a great expectation: a weary world waits patiently for a Messiah. It is a story of great promise and hope: the inspired Prophets proclaimed that "soon" the Savior would come. And the Christmas story is a story of a most unexpected fulfillment: a Child is born for us who is Christ the Lord!
The liturgical readings that try to tell the story are spread throughout the Masses celebrated on Christmas eve, at midnight and at the two Masses during the day. We hear prophesies from the prophet Isaiah and reflections from the apostle Paul. Luke takes us to the belen with the shepherds adoring the Child. From Matthew we learn how Mary and Joseph became wife and husband chosen by God to be the parents of the Child Jesus.
The Christmas story is so big that it is no wonder that, although it has been told over and over again, the world never tires of its telling. For centuries, master artists have used paint, brush and chisel to transfer faith to canvas and stone. Musicians have composed songs and hymns, solemnly religious and joyfully popular, that try to imitate the angels' serenade for the shepherds.
The world's fascination with the Christmas story is a very fitting response to the central meaning of the Christmas event: the eternal God so loved the world that he sent his Son into the world to be its Savior. Yes, for the salvation of the world in need of salvation, God enters into the world to be one with us in all our troubles and pains, as well as with us in all our hopes and dreams. God comes to be one with us as a Baby who will need to grow and develop, who will experience what it means to be a refugee in flight, who as an adolescent will cause worry to his parents when he gets "lost" for three days! Eventually the Baby of Christmas will leave the security of home to take up a challenging ministry where he will experience acceptance, rejection and death..
The Christmas story, after the promises of Old Testament prophets, begins with the Angel's Annunciation to Mary. It unfolds as the Child grows and eventually finishes life on the cross. But the story does not end there. The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus and the sending of his Holy Spirit keep the life and mission of the Baby of Bethlehem alive and active in our world today. The world of two thousand years ago into which Christ was born was a world eagerly awaiting the coming of the promised Messiah. Into that real world Jesus was born, with a mission from the Father to enter into the world as Emmanuel, as "God-with-us."
Today our world celebrates Christmas with renewed expectation and hope. We are celebrating not only an event of two thousand years ago, but an event still unfolding among us.
The Baby of Bethlehem still lives and grows with us. He continues today to fulfill the mission for which he was sent by the Father. In that sense we can say that Christmas is forever. The celebrations of our novena of dawn Masses, the joyful family feasting at noche buena, the friendly "Merry Christmas" greetings and songs we share- all remind us that the mystery of Christmas is alive today.
Today we are the angels and the shepherds who have been sent to proclaim the good news that today a Savior has been born for us. Yes, God so loves the world that he sends his Son into our world today! Such is the joy of Christmas! Such is the joy of the Gospel message!
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
SOPHIA S. YBANEZ
WONG CHU KING
JEANNETTE & CHRISTOPHER CO CHAN
IN MEMORIAM (†)
Have a good day!
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