Monday, 26 December 2011

Rejoice in the Lord Alway

St. Arvans Crib 2011

Homily for Christmas Day family service with Holy Communion.

These words from St Paul bring to us the essence of this feast second only in the Christian calendar to Easter and the Resurrection of the Lord. For this holy birth is to culminate for God made man not in the earthly life which comes to an end but through the mystery of Easter is transformed into the eternal life through an earth shattering reality that death will not or need not be the end for us. Born today, sent to live among and as one of us, then to die for us and to rise for us that all death be overcome. This death is foreshadowed in the offering of the burial spice myrrh, which the wise men,  will bring at Epiphany. But for today all is joy all is calm, all is peace brought to us by the Prince of Peace.
Although life can be hard, can be challenging can be imperfect, today there is one before us who shows us that he is here above all to comfort us in all our troubles. Yes, we know that we fail, that we sin that we don’t worship him as well or as often as we should, but he knows all that; he is not here today to scold, to force, to impose guilt, he is here to bring us joy; to show us what peace really is, to comfort us and to guide us through life. Just as we naturally extend our hands to a new child in welcome, so too we do so this morning to the infant King here in the crib before us, and as He grasps our fingers with his little hand may we today know that comfort, be blessed by the touch to our hearts and be sanctified in the words of the liturgy and in the sacrament of his body that we honour in the Holy Communion and that we shall either receive or be blessed by today and which was consecrated at the Midnight Mass earlier this morning. This comfort food that is better than all the Christmas Day dinners that have ever or will ever be made, important as though these celebrations be. As you open a present today why not open your hearts to Him too? He is waiting for you, he is loving as a child is loving to his family and he considers us all to be his family. Can we let go and immerse ourselves in the joy of this encounter? Not just with an innocent loving child but with this special, loving, welcoming and comforting God made in human form? There was no room at the Inn but may we never say there is no room in our hearts for Him or this Holy family, which we see before us. Today may Jesus, Mary and Joseph pray for you and bless you with great comfort and great joy. Amen.+

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