Nativity of the Lord

First reading: Is. 52:7–10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!”

Hark! Your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion. Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his people, he redeems Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.

Second reading: Heb. 1:1–6

Brothers and sisters: In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word. When he had accomplished purification from sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say: You are my son; this day I have begotten you? Or again: I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me? And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship 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 came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

In other words 

Fr. Chito Lorenzo, SVD (Japan)

I cannot help but observe that this year’s Christmas Day is also a Sunday. Two holy days of obligation, and you only need one Mass. For those who like going too Mass, this might seem like they are being shortchanged. But for others, this coincidence is a happy occasion. I want to look at it from a liturgical point of view. Christmas Day is Christ’s birthday. Sunday is a celebration of Easter, Christ’s resurrection. One is about beginning of life here on Earth, and the other is about life in heaven

It is also important too remember that the birth of Christ would not have happened without the cooperation of persons God selected beforehand. There are, of course, the people in Jesus’ genealogy, but most of all, we must appreciate the willingness of Mary and Joseph to follow God’s will manifested through visions and dreams. “I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according your word,” said Mary to the angel, and with this consent, it is said that all created things breathed a sigh of relief. For it was only Mary, born without original sin, who was capable of bearing the Son of God in her womb. Had Mary not given her consent, I wonder what would have happened to our Christmas story.

Mary carried Jesus in her womb and gave birth to him on Christmas Day. As Christians, we are supposed to be carrying Jesus in our hearts, and we give birth to him, so to speak, when we practice our faith in our daily lives. The first reading tells us, “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news.” During the time of the prophet Isaiah, the news was brought by runners who had to scale mountains to reach some towns. Today, we have many ways to bring news to the world, but the Christian brings the good news oof Jesus Christ not just by words but, more importantly, by deeds. We are the modern runners who bring good news. And the good news becomes truly a blessing to others when we practice what we preach.

This Christmas the best presents we can give are not bought in stores but generated from our hearts. Words of endearment and love, acts of forgiveness and reconciliation, giving of our time for others. Christ gives us the gift of himself on Christmas Day. God became man to show his love for us. Let us follow his example and also give of ourselves to God and one another.

May the Christmas spirit be with us always. 

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