Saturday, 25 December 2010

Seeing the Birth of Salvation

Christmas Day Homily. Who can describe or explain the wonders and mysteries of the season as God is born as man from the womb of the Virgin in His Son Jesus? All we need is to believe and to accept the birth of this holy One we see at Christmas as the incarnation of salvation itself. Here is none other than the Son of God among us. Of course there is unbridled joy that this saving event should happen and be re-enacted sacramentally in the Christmas Liturgies each year. There is also the knowledge that as fully human He will suffer as we all suffer, indeed he will share our sufferings, transform them and save us through the Resurrection...if we let him. He will lead us and guide us….if we let Him. He will save us from ourselves, our sins and our failings and our cruelties to others too ...if we let Him. Where are we at this time of His birth, are we fully believing, fully absorbed, wholly accepting of all the teachings and witness of the many who have gone before us? Or are we wanting to make up our own interpretations, re-work the events to make them seem somehow more acceptable? This is not a sort of Father Christmas option; to accept  the Christmas presents in the stocking but not the man responsible for bringing them. Our faith has to be founded on truths and the good news of the Gospel without equivocation. This Christmas solemnity did happen as we read of it in the familiar scriptures on which we rely. So where are we in our lives, in our faith at this time? Are we at the foot of the crib really worshipping and praising and listening to the word of God made flesh? Are we really prepared to join with ordinary believing Christians in their millions and millions over two thousand years without us putting up barriers and unnecessary doubts? Are we up for being with the ordinary shepherds and the extra-ordinary Angels and the exotic Kings who have yet to arrive? If not then why not ? 'Come to me and I will refresh you' says the Lord. We can be with Him and rejoice, looking into the eyes of God in this crib before us and if not sure still, then seeing Him in the eyes of the little children and those of all ages around us and catching some of their faith, the true faith, the real story. If further help is needed then we can repeat the words of Mary the mother of Jesus, the Mother of God ''Be it unto me according to thy word'' again and again until the faith of Christ washes through us and fills us to the brim until there is no going back only onwards, listening to the words of the Angel ''do not be afraid''. Let us not be afraid to believe, to join with the shepherds, the Angels, Christians everywhere as we rejoice and realize that the Lord is among us, can never be taken away from us, will never die and be ever present in our homes, our hearts, our lives. In the words of the Angel again "I bring you news of great joy. Today the Saviour of the world has been born to you". May the Holy family of Mary Joseph and Jesus give us the pattern and witness to our faith, through their prayers may we have enough love in us, enough humility and enough openness of faith to believe these things and welcome Jesus into our hearts now and for ever. +

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