“Blessed the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, O Lord, they walk. At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted.” (Psalm 89:16-17)
Reflections on the readings for the Nativity of the Lord -- Vigil Mass (December 24, 2022): IS 62:1-5; PS 89:4-5,16-17,27,29; Acts 13:16-17,22-25; MT 1:1-25
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Christmas is a call to rejoice in the unfathomable compassion of our God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- for us, and for every person of every generation.
The wonder of Christmas is a beautiful blessing to all who believe in Jesus as our redeemer and our King. It is a time, of course, to remember our own experiences and that of our family over the years of holiday celebration. Yet, it should also be a time to renew our faith in the mercy of God. He sent His only begotten Son to live among His people and reveal the depth and breadth of His love for each of us. Even as we recall the birth of that baby boy in Bethlehem, we hear in the words of St. Paul that the Divine plan for the whole world stretched far back: “The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. … (He) raised up David as king; of him He testified, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will carry out My every wish.’ From this man’s descendants God, according to His promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus” (Acts 1:17,22-23). More than that, God’s designs for our welfare look ahead. Throughout Advent, we were reminded of Christ’s first coming two millennia ago as well as His second coming at some time known only to Almighty God. And just as we find comfort in the birth cry of the Holy Infant, and forgiveness in Jesus’ final breath on the cross, we can discover joy in knowing that on His return our expectant hope in Him will melt into an eternity of love.
Christmas is a call to rejoice in the unfathomable compassion of our God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- for us, and for every person of every generation. Not one person was ever made by God to fail or to fall. Whatever our sins may be, they are never bigger than God’s mercy. Too often we do focus more on ourselves than on Him. Yet God will always love us more than we will love Him. He is content if only we try to be His, if only we wake up, get up and let His grace draw us closer to Him. Day by day, we have the chance to open ourselves to Him one more time. And what better time to embrace this gift than Christmas, as we ponder the life of the Holy Infant who would transform the whole wide world.
Suggested missionary action: Today, we can ask the Holy Family to look after our own family and all our loved ones, as well as those who have no one to remember them. And let us do all we can to reach out to help those in need -- for the love of the God who loves us all.