Christmas Day December 25 of 2019

The Word Became Flesh Born of A Virgin

Joke: Christmas shopping, though fun, can be difficult. Did you hear about the guy that bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas? A friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty 4-Wheel drive vehicles." "She did," he replied. "But where am I going to find a fake Jeep?"

Today, the Church celebrates the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are four different sets of readings according to the Vigil Mass, Mass at night, dawn Mass, and day Mass. Why didn’t the Church use only one set of readings for all the Masses, from vigil to day time? Readings for night Mass describe God’s grace as having been revealed in the birth of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel’s reading for the Vigil Mass talks about the genealogy of Jesus and how his birth came about. The Dawn Mass describes the great love that God has for us by coming to us in our human flesh to save us. Finally, the Gospel’s reading for the Day Mass describes the scene that God spoke to us through his Son, the Word made flesh, to reveal his salvation to the whole human race.

Today, the Church celebrates the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are invited to meditate on the fact that Jesus is God who loves us so much that he willingly accepts to come to us by vesting on himself our very human flesh to be like all of us except sins. The question begins with the word “why” often makes us ponder on how to respond to the question. We cannot stop pondering at the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ w/ the question: Why did God choose to come to us in the flesh?

He comes to us in the flesh, I believe, because he loves us. His origin is a divine origin and not human origin that in today’s Gospel, John begins his Gospel by saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” If we recalled the creation story in the very first chapter of the book of Genesis, God created everything by saying “the Word” and creatures came into being. However, there is a little tricky, a little twist in human creation story when God creates Adam and Eve. He forms Adam from dust and breaths in him the Holy Spirit, and he becomes a living being. Only in Adam and Eve, human beings, are created special in God’s image as it said in Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The words “Let us,” does it mean there are several gods in the creation or only one God? There are several explanations, one of them is that the words: “let us” describes the solemnity, the importance, and the seriousness, but there is only one God. When we hear the Pope speaks, he often addresses as “We.” It does not mean that he speaks on the behalf of several people, but he speaks for the Church, the only one Catholic Church that we profess in the profession of faith every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation.

He comes to us in the flesh, I believe, because he loves us. Only in the flesh that we can come to receive his grace, his mercy and forgiveness. Also, only in the flesh that we can come to know the truth, to know God the Almighty, and to know that we are created in his image. This is why John says in today’s Gospel, “While the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Saint Paul says in second reading to the Hebrews, “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe.” Only in Christ and through Christ that we are adopted to become children of God and to know the way to the Father through the life of a flesh that the Son of God vested on himself on Christmas day.

Christ is the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He chose to vest on himself our very human flesh to be with us so to show us how much he loves us, even to the point of suffering and death, death on the Cross for us. What have we done to return that love? Just as Jesus lying helpless as a babe, what have we done to those children who are abandoned, homeless, uncared, unsheltered, hunger and lonely? In all the Christmas cards that I received for Christmas, there was one that I found a most practical prayer with a little sense of humor for Christmas. Perhaps, it is also a prayer for all of us during this Christmas season. The title of the card is: “The Very First King Sized Bed.” In this card, it said, “Let us thank God for that bed and the baby who slept there. It is a nicest place to be in someone’s thoughts; the safest place to be in someone’s prayers; and the best place to be in God’s hands (from Fr. Kuriakose at Christ the King parish).

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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