One special evening in a small town everybody was very busy. There were lots and lots of people traveling towards that town. Families were busy receiving relatives and friends and finding accommodations. The houses were full, there were no rooms in the inns, and people were everywhere. Everyone was trying to find a comfortable place to lay their heads that night. A poor family couldn’t find a place to stay in town, so they had to rest in a cave in the countryside. On the other side of the hill, shepherds were “keeping the night watch over their flock” Luke 2:8. Angel said to them, “…For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” Luke 2:10. The multitude of the heavenly host with angels sang: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14. When the shepherds came, Mary and Joseph were with the Newborn Baby in the cave. Animals were their company. Magi followed the star and came from the far east. The rest of the world was busy, and they missed the Newborn Baby.
We were in four weeks of Advent, waiting and preparing. In our busy time, let us pause for a moment, meditate on these beautiful readings, and be ready to adore the Newborn King.
The first reading for Christmas Eve, and Dawn is from Isaiah 62. Isaiah uses imagery to describe the conversion of Israel from gloom to joy. The prophet tells them that their God is a saving God who extends his redemption to the Holy City. The incarnation represents the marriage of divine and human nature. This passage expresses the joy of the bridal people of God at the arrival of Christ, our Bridegroom.
The first reading for Christmas at midnight is from the book of Isaiah (9:1-6). Isaiah says that people who walked in the darkness, oppressed by Assyria, eventually will see the light and restoration of Israel. Prophets brought hope to the people of the Israelites. Gospel of Matthew 4:12-23 records the fulfillment of the prophesy, as Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee, the tribal territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, the territory destroyed by Assyria. They were the first people to witness the spiritual restoration of Israel through Jesus Christ.
The first reading for the Mass during the day, Isaiah (52:7-10) proclaims the good news of the coming of the Lord. In the incarnation, that prophecy is fulfilled, and it is fulfilled literally in God coming in person, in the person of his son to Jerusalem as a man in the person of Jesus Christ. And that truly is good news.
Gospel readings are from Matthew, Luke, and John. On Christmas Eve Mass, we read the genealogy of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew’s Gospel summarizes and tells us that Joseph is from the family of David, and Jesus is from the stump of Jesse, Jesus was born into a royal family. Joseph was a carpenter by day, but he belongs to Davidic royal family.
The Gospel of Luke emphasizes the role of Mary. How she listens to the message from the angel, obeyed, sharing that joy with her cousin Elizabeth. While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, the birthplace of David, Mary gave birth to Jesus.
We have the reading from the Gospel of John for the Mass of the day. John says, Word was with God, Word was God, and referring to that he was the eternal word of the Father. John says Jesus is the Eternal Word through whom everything was created and in the fullness of time Word made flesh.
This Christmas again God is looking for the hearts to be born. Let us invite him into our hearts, homes, our parish, and every aspect of our life. Listen to Him…! Don’t miss Him! I pray that each of us finds Him this Christmas and watches his smile, listens to his whispering, and experiences his love, forgiveness, and healing. Christmas is not just on December 25th, but it should happen every day of our life.
THANK YOU! I would like to express gratitude for so many people thinking of me during the Christmas season, sending cards, and gifts, bringing goodies, and so on. It is much appreciated. I didn’t get a chance to write to each one of you. Thank you, everyone, I keep you all in my prayers. Please keep me in yours. Merry Christmas!