Homily The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year B – 25/12/17
(Readings taken from the Christmas Mass “During the Night”)
First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-7
Psalm: Ps 95:1-3. 11-13. “Today is born our Saviour, Christ the Lord.”
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year B – 25/12/2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/nativity-christmas-faith-hope-love (EPISODE: 65 )
Christmas is truly a season of wonder. And the highpoint for so many of us is gathering …. At the Mass of Christmas… (which is where the season gets is beautiful name) and then for special meals with family and friends…..
When we look around… it’s wonderful to see the smiling faces of children, parents…. Grandparents… friends, parishioners, visitors… and individuals….. celebrating that, as well as belonging to our own families….// The birth of our Lord also makes us brothers and sisters in God’s family…… and that offers us a peace that the world could only dream of…..
Thank God for this special time… and this Christmas, at this mass, in our prayers, let us give heartfelt thanks to God for all the many blessings we have received this year and every year… (especially thanking God for the unique, priceless, irreplaceable gift of each-other)…..
Let’s savour the gift of this time of sharing….
Did you head the story of a children’s Christmas play where a teacher was getting students to play the different people in the drama of Jesus birth at Bethlehem……
One child came up to the teacher and said…. “I want to be Joseph….”
But the teacher said… “sorry… - I have asked Stephen to be Joseph”//
The child did not give up… “then I want to be one of the wise men”
“sorry, but I have already chosen three wise men….’
I want to play the donkey… “sorry I have already given that to one of the other students….
I want to be One of the Angels… “I would love to give you the role of one of the Angels but I have something else in mind for you and we already have twenty angels…
I want to be one of the shepherds… “I already have quite a few shepherds…. “
The child was very upset and he was not getting into the Christmas spirit of the play… He finally was asked to be the innkeeper, but he said was grumpy, because he didn’t get any of the parts he wanted.
So… the play began .. and Mary and Joseph come to the innkeeper's house… and they knocked on the door.. and now comes the child’s big scene…. And he was going to enjoy it….
Joseph says to him… “please.. we need a room to stay.. my wife Mary is about to have her baby…..”
And the child, playing the part of the innkeeper, smiled a very cheeky smile… stood up to his full height, and proudly proclaimed in a very loud voice…
“Oh, you are in luck !… we’ve just had a few cancellations.. There are plenty of rooms… come right in……”/////
(Needless to say,.. the Drama collapsed to a very quick and confused halt!!!)/….
I think particularly of the real innkeeper in the Bethlehem… the one who said:… ‘no room at the inn……’ each one of us is invited to MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS, and his holy family, in our hearts……. to find room and to clear out the things that clutter up our hearts and crowd them so that we feel there is no room for Jesus…..
God always achieves what God is planning for his beloved world...….. God will always manage to succeed in what God intends…. // But… our human cooperation… and also our human resistance to God’s plans DO make an enormous difference…..
If we cooperate with God’s plans… great things happen…. If we resist and thwart what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others.. (whether that be accidentally or wilfully)…..it can obviously do enormous damage … //and frustrate God’s plans…(But only for a time nothing will permanently stop God’s plan for us. God keeps working away….. and eventually, God will work around any resistance and any opposing values and God WILL achieve his plans… /…..but it might mean God has to work harder and longer, (much longer) at it…. than might otherwise have been needed……
If God comes across an obstacle, God never gives up… God just works around it and keeps working to achieve his plans….. and so can we….
So let us never underestimate the importance of our cooperation in.. God’s plans for the world….. and for us…
Meanwhile each of us here tonight, surely echo the words of writer Charles Dickens, who once wrote: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”–(Charles Dickens)
May Jesus, the Christ Child… continue to guide us and inspire us… as we make plenty of room for Christ in our hearts and lives and priorities……
FR. PAUL W. KELLY
Tom McGrath, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Mass at Midnight.
Fr Paul W. Kelly
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The Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Year B
(December 25, 2017)
(EPISODE: 65 )
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you are mighty God and Prince of peace. Lord have mercy// You are Son of God and the Son of Mary. Christ have mercy// You are Word made flesh, the splendour of the Father. Lord have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Eucharistic Prayer II
Communion side. pwk: LH
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
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