Christmas Day – Year A
December 25, 2022 – 10:30 AM
Saint Cecilia Catholic Community
Deacon Sharon Kay Talley
Isaiah 52:7-10 | Psalm 98:1-6
Hebrews 1:1-6  |  John 1:1-18

+Bless thou, the words of my lips and the meditations of our hearts that they may be of profit to us and acceptable to thee, our rock and redeemer.  Amen.

Merry Christmas!

For about twenty-five years after my father retired and my parents moved to Whidbey Island, Washington, I would travel from my home in Houston every year to visit them.  One of the first years that I visited during the winter, I was driving back to their house from a shopping excursion in Coupeville, a quaint little town that has been used in movies to represent Cape Cod, the sunset at around 4 P-M since the location is so far north, and it suddenly became pitch black without the least bit of ambient light except for my headlights.

Keep in mind that this is a very remote area that is sparsely populated and has no street lights; additionally, it is surrounded by massive, tall, evergreen trees, which intensify the darkness at night.  I was a little scared at the time, but there was nothing I could do except keep driving and pray that I would reach my destination.

When I read today’s Gospel from John, “He was in the beginning with God.  All things came to be through Him, and nothing came to be without Him.  What came to be through Him was life; this life was the light of the human race, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  I recalled how the light of Jesus guided me to reach my destination and safety on that scary night drive.

It has basically been a dark couple of years for the entire world:  many countries were on lock-downs due to the pandemic,  millions of people died of Covid, many churches were closed, and still many people are afraid to come back for Mass; the war in Ukraine has caused the destruction of many lives, as well as the historical architecture and artistic treasures, being destroyed, mass shootings have claimed many innocent lives and hate crimes are still prevailing.

But today, we see the light of Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate on this beautiful day!

Today’s Gospel from John tells us of the benefits of those who accept in faith the word incarnate, “But to those who did accept Him, He gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born not by natural generation, nor by human choice, not by a human decision, but of God.

Our response to our faith in the incarnation is Divine assistance or form of grace necessary to assist us in our human travails or crises.  Or as proclaimed in our first reading from Isaiah, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation.”  Jesus is the Prince of Peace!

The incarnation is the act in which God transcends to become fully human in the person of Jesus to bring us our salvation.  The Gospel of John today states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”   Through the incarnation, all who have been longing for liberation from troubles,,,, injustices, and anything that binds us can now  “share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

Our second reading from Hebrews tells how God, the Father, the One who has all might, majesty, dominion, and power over the entire universe, has given humanity a new King of all creation, Jesus.  “You are my son; this day, I have begotten you.”  “I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a son to me.  Let the angels of God worship Him.”

Today, we all receive the gift of peace through the birth of Jesus.  As beneficiaries of this gift, we are called to be ambassadors of peace.  Let’s try to remember this, not only on Sunday at Mass but every day of our lives!  If someone is rude to you or you feel someone is treating you unfairly, like at the Smog shop when your vehicle does not pass the smog test or a retail store when you are not given the full discount price, for instance, pause and reflect on the response to crises inspired by the incarnation of Jesus.  Remember that through our baptism, we are all related, even when we quarrel with our enemies!

As proclaimed by Isaiah in our first reading, “All the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of God,” and by the Psalmist who states, “All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.”

So let’s go out and bring the gift of peace to everyone we meet today, as we are the children of God who loves us and wants us to fulfill His mission on earth.