Gospel Reflection: Christmas
Malvern Minute

 

DECEMBER 25, 2015

CHRISTMAS – MASS DURING THE NIGHT, CHRISTMAS EVE

Alleluia, alleluia

I proclaim to you good news of great joy:

Today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia

Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 2: 1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.  This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.  And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.  She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.  The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

In the days before this beautiful feast many of us, were struggling with one persistent question:  WHAT PRESENT DO I GET FOR THE ONES I LOVE?

So with all our limitations each of us resolved the question to the best of our ability.   It probably took time, but persistence paid off.  And, it was worth the effort because each gift demonstrated in some way our love for each special person in our lives.

So this leads us to another question – one more important that the previous question: WHAT DID YOU GIVE TO GOD?  God has generously given us many gifts, but most importantly the gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ!   So the question remains: WHAT DO WE GIVE TO GOD?

There is no material gift we could give that God needs.   The Shepherds on hearing the Good News of Christ’s birth brought themselves to where Christ was born.  They PRESENTED themselves.  In other words, they themselves became the present by being present to the Lord.  I hope that your gift is your PRESENCE at Mass … Your presence at Mass on Christmas and each Sunday is your PRESENT to Christ the Lord!

Each Sunday and Solemnities we approach the altar where Christ comes to us as He did the first Christmas night.   While His appearance is now in Word and Sacrament He is no less present to us.  Can we not pledge this year that we will be a present to Him by being in His presence at Holy Mass?

Our Holy Father Francis expressed the gift of Christ to us in this way when he addressed the people of Bavaria who donated the Christmas tree for Saint Peter’s Square:

The wishes that we carry in our heart are now in the most suitable place, because they are close to the child of Bethlehem: they are entrusted to Him, He who came to live in our midst. Indeed, Jesus did not simply appear on earth, and did not dedicate just a little of His time to us, but rather came to share our life and to receive our desires, as He wanted and still wants to live here, along with us and for us.

Let us be PRESENT to the Eternal One who became PRESENT to us in His Son Jesus Christ!

HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS … AND MAY GOD BLESS US ONE AND ALL!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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