We are in 4th Sunday of Advent. We continue our waiting in hope, peace, joy, and love. If we look at our life, waiting is part of our daily life. Mom waits for her son or daughter to get home, children wait for their parents to spend some time with them, a wife waits for her husband or a husband waits for his wife to talk about their marriage, students wait for their grades, we wait for our friends, we wait for a change of season, and this year waiting for snow. So we all wait for something every day in our life to find out what is next. As we wait for couple more days for Christmas, I am going to jump into the theme of Christmas and wish you all a Blessed Christmas.
In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. They were pure and holy and lived in perfect union with God. One day devil interrupted their union with God and lost their purity and holiness. Since then God was in search of human beings. He walked among Israelites and guided them through the patriarchs, prophets, and kings. Isaiah was one of the greatest prophets who appeared at a critical moment in Israel’s history. Assyria was the dominant power in the region, especially collapsed the Northern Kingdom. Isaiah made numerous prophecies of the coming of Jesus.
The first reading for Christmas 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 Israelites, but prophesy fulfilled in the birth of Emmanuel, God is with us. We read in the Gospel of Matthew 4:16, “The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” Isaiah says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests” (9:5). There were many titles for the baby, Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, and Prince of Peace.
For the midnight Mass, we have the account of the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. In the Roman Empire, every fourteen years the census was taken to assess the taxation and for the compulsory military service. The Jews were exempted from military service, but still, they had to do the censuses for the taxation. We see in the Gospel of Luke, there was a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. Joseph went with Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, which is approximately 80 miles, because Joseph was from the house and family of David. The town was crowded with people because they came from all over in order to fulfill the obligation.
Mary and Joseph were looking for a place; no room is available in Bethlehem, but a manger. The word “manger” comes from the Latin word munducare which means “to eat.” Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’ and the child was laid in a manger, the place prepared out of wooden or stone for animals to be feed. At the Last Supper, Jesus himself gives us as food, the Eucharist.
The child is born, He is here!! God’s newest deed, youngest and recent deed… “Emmanuel”, God is with us!! Word made flesh but lies in the manger. He is silent. Only in the silence of our heart, we can hear that Word. The good news is announced to shepherds and angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This Christmas, Mary Joseph is looking for a place for her son. He needs our 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 at this Christmas and watch his smile, listen to his whispering, and experience his love, forgiveness, and healing. And again, let us wait together with Child Jesus in our hearts for the New Year 2021. Christmas is not just on December 25th, but it should happen every day in our life.
Wish you all a Blessed Christmas!!