HYMN : Mary Did You Know – Kenny Rogers
v Today we will reflect on the meaning of Christmas in our life, following the story “Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
v The three ghosts represent the Christmas from the past, present and future.
v They are an invitation to look at our own life.
v Asking ourselves three questions which we may want to share with someone.
What is the best memories I have of Christmas?
What are my worries for this year's Christmas?
How do I wish Christmas be in the future?
FIRST READING: Is 9:1-6
« Isaiah sings the exuberant joy of the people who has passed from the darkness of suffering and oppression to the light of liberation.
« The prophet compares this joy with the joy of the farmer when he collects his crop after months of uncertainty, will it be saved or will it be destroed by some natural disaster or some enemy.
« The cause of this joy is that the oppressor- the rod, the yoke, the boot- have been eliminated.
« And this because a child is born, a son is given to us, he has the attributes of an adult, full of wisdom and kindness, he is the Prince of Peace.
« He will come from David's line, his kingdom will have no end, his will be a kingdom of justice and respect for the law.
« And all of this will be done by the zeal, the love of the Lord.
SECOND READING : Titus 2:11-14
Ø This is a very beautiful reading which we do every year at the Midnight Mass.
Ø All that the Prophet Isaiah announced has been fulfilled by the Baby of Bethlehem, God made flesh for love of us.
Ø The grace of God, who saves all, has been made visible in Jesus, the Son of Mary, the Baby from Bethlehem.
Ø He will teach us how to live as true human beings, images of God the Creator, in justice, that means seeking what is good and eliminating from our life all that is not good.
Ø And we live this life awaiting the manifestation of our savior and God Jesus Christ.
Ø He will do the liberation that Isaiah announced giving his life for us and in place of us, to free us from evil and to help us to do good in justice and truth.
GOSPEL – Lk 2:1-14
Ø In the Midnight Mass we read this gospel from Luke which tells us of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
Ø Mary who is pregnant, and Joseph have traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, because Joseph is from David's family.
Ø Luke says only that as they arrived in Bethlehem the time came for Mary to give birth to her child.
Ø We may use our imagination to make this situation real for us, thus being able to enter more deeply into the mystery.
Ø During their journey they had the opportunity to share about the mystery they were involved, in which they found themselves by the will of God which they accepted.
Ø They shared the many questions they had in regards to this child, who was like any other child, but at the same time was so different, he was supposedly the Son of God, what does it mean to be son of God? Would they know how to raise him?
Ø They shared also their many fears, how and where would she give birth? Who would help her? She was a very young mother, far from her family, from the women of her town who could help her. Who would help her?
Ø Joseph also had his fears, how would he be able to help Mary, his wife, in this situation?
Ø I like to think that he was the one who helped her to give birth, and that both were in awe when they saw for the first time the face of that baby, who was crying like any baby, but they knew in faith that he was the Son of the Father, God.
Ø I think that in front of this mystery, so sublime and at the same time so close to our own life, the only reaction is to remain in silence adoring, loving, allowing the mystery to overtake us.
Ø God is in our midst in human flesh and he will remain with us forever, because he has become one of us, of our own flesh, our own race.
Ø With his incarnation and birth he has made of all the races one, eliminating all the differences which keep us apart, he has made of us the race of his brothers and sisters who share with him the same and only Father, God the Father.
The Roman Church celebrates the birth and the Eastern Church the epiphany. Both mysteries are
THE EPIPHANY OF GOD IN HIS SON MADE FLESH IN THE WOMB OF MARY
IN BOTH DAYS, CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANY,
WE CELEBRATE THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD
THE WORD HAS PUT HIS TENT AMONG US
GOD HAS BECOME HUMAN TO MAKE US DIVINE.
Then, after living the convent the confessor commanded me to write to his Excellency archbishop Claret , informing him about the decision of the two confessors, who, after long prayers and very mature deliberation determined my going out of the convent before the profession in order to avoid the greater inconveniences after the profession. Because, if now being a novice, there was so great disturbance, what could have happened had I made my profession? For sure that neither the community nor the Archbishop would have ever permitted my leaving. Thus, I was completely free to do whatever his Excellency Archbishop Claret, would see more convenient for the glory of God. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 117.
I believed that a certain class of sinners must be caught after the fashion of a man cooking snails. He puts them in a pot of cold water, which they like, and hence they come out of their shells as far as they can. The cook, in the meantime, has to see to it that the water heats up only a little at a time so that the snails die without sensing it and thus are cooked. If the cook were careless enough to throw the snails directly into hot water, they would withdraw into their shells and nobody would be able to get them out. It is much the same with sinners. If a missionary starts by blasting away at them with fire and brimstone, at the sound of that blast those who have come out of curiosity or malice will withdraw into the shell of their obstinacy and, far from being converted, will spend all their time and energy discrediting the missionary and ridiculing everyone who goes to listen to him. But if they are treated with sweetness, kindness, and love, they will be won over. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 471.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiography
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography