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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Became flesh
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

CHRISTMAS (DAY MASS)

 

THE WORD BECAME FLESH…

Dear friends in Christ, today we give thanks to God as we celebrate Christmas. The light of God has again dawned on the darkness of the world, the eternal Word has been born in a flesh like ours. We have received the greatest gift of all -- God’s only Son. Let us celebrate this day and season with joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

 

In the First Reading (Isaiah 52: 7-10) The mood of celebration and joy is evident, as God himself is intervening in the restoration of his land. “The watchmen raise their voice, they shout for joy together, for they see the Lord face to face.” Isaiah invites even the ruins of Jerusalem to rejoice, for the Lord is consoling his people and redeeming Jerusalem. God is here in our midst as we celebrate Christmas.

 

The Second Reading (Hebrews 1:1-6) traces the revelations of the past as all pointing to the coming of Jesus. God has spoken in many ways and through various means but now he speaks through his Son. That is what Christmas is about, a celebration of the coming of God into our midst. 

 

Today’s Gospel (John 1-1-18) is the prologue to the Gospel, he takes on the Word (Logos) with a deeper meaning and spiritual undertone—the word was made flesh and dwells with us. John declares Jesus as the Word of God who has been from the beginning, and through whom everything was created with nothing created without him. Here we come face to face with a mystery beyond all understanding—God, so powerful and yet so infinitely merciful became a man like us, in all ways but sin.

 

Let us return to the manger. The factory made mangers are a thousand times more beautiful than where Jesus was born. A cave on the hillside of Bethlehem, in the midst of goats and rams with an oil lamp, or the moon for light that night. Think of the smell from the surroundings. How did Joseph manage the delivery? With which water was the baby washed? The baby was wrapped in the mother’s swaddling clothes and herself left in the cold. Why was there no room in the inn? Why was there no one to shelter a pregnant woman? But do you have room for God in your own life? Are we not too busy to think of prayer, think of church, think of Mass, think of confession, think of bringing our children to Church?

 

Do you have time and space for those around you? Your husband or wife, your kids and family? Often people who have no time for God, hardly have time for their neighbours. If you have no time for a God who loves you so much, how do you manage to have time for those you should love?

 

We are often so full of ourselves, that we have no time and no room left for others. Go again and again into the crib. We need the most basic of things in life to survive. We were surviving before many of the things we rely on arrived. Why is it we cannot survive now for a day without them? A matter of priority?

 

In Christ, God enters the sinful world to redeem it. We must learn from this merciful love of God.

  1. Humility: the birth and life of Jesus teaches us to live humbly with God. 
  2. Simplicity: the greatest lesson of simplicity is learnt by the grave side for those who do not learn it by the crib.
  3. The value of Motherhood: by learning from Mary’s example
  4. The value of fatherhood— custodian, provider and defender of the family.
  5. The call to joy: The birth of every child is a cause for joy.

 

Let us pray: O God, you give us great joy in the celebration of the birth of Christ. Help us to make a room for him in our hearts. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Merry Christmas!
 
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Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.