Homily Nativity of the Lord – I wish you a happy and holy Christmas

Homily (Sermon) – I wish you a happy and holy Christmas

The Readings for the Mass During the Day Christmas Day or Nativity of the Lord Year
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 97
Hebrews 1:1-6
John 1:1-18
[There are four masses for Christmas day. The Vigil, Midnight, Dawn and the Day. All these readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks.]

There is something really special about Christmas. Some of our faith spills out into the rest of the world, for a small time the world thinks of others first, they visit friends and family, they give presents, the think about the poor and needy. The world is genuinely a better place at Christmas, it’s a happier place at Christmas, and it’s a holier place at Christmas. If you think about that, and I really do want you to think about that, isn't it right that our faith should wash across the whole world today.

Because, on that first Christmas day something incredible, something fantastic, something wonderful, something divine happened here on earth. The creator of everything; the creator of you and me; the creator of the seas and oceans; the creator of the land and mountains; the creator of the planets, stars and galaxies; the Word through whom all things were created, came to earth. He came to us, He came to be with us, to teach us, and to save us. He came because He loved us. Isn't that amazing!

I have just read to you the start of John’s gospel, one of the most beautiful and one of the most remarkable passages in the bible. John doesn't tell us about the nativity, he doesn't mention Mary & Joseph, he doesn't mention the stable, the shepherds, the wise men, the angels or Herod. While the other Gospel writers tell us about the birth of Jesus, what happen from the human side. John mirrors the Genesis opening of the Old Testament, he tells us the Divine and eternal story.

John uses a language that’s poetic, beautiful and maybe a little confusing. He talks about Jesus as the Word. We all know words are powerful; they have the power to bring both pain and joy. How do you feel if someone teases or bullies you, and how do you feel when someone tells you they love you. Words are powerful things. John knew his, but that was only part of John’s reason for referring to Christ as the Word.

The first line of John’s Gospel today was, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” This is almost a copy of the opening words from Genesis, “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” John is deliberately linking  his Gospel to the creation story. John wants you to know, no he needs you to know that Christ wasn’t just a man, he was at the same time God. He wanted you to know that the baby born in that stable was around at the start of everything, had always been there, would always be there, but at that moment in time he came directly into our world, God became man, and walked among us.

So where was Jesus in the Genesis story, you don’t hear Him mentioned by name? But you do, and that’s the main reason why John refers to Him as the word. As God creates the world and universe in seven days, he speaks them into existence.  “God said, “Let there be light” and there was light.

Everything is created because God said something, what was spoken was Words, it was through the Words that all things were created. Jesus was those Words, He was there at the start of everything, He was God, He was the Word that created everything, so John said in today’s gospel, “Through Him all things came to be.”

The coming of God into our world was so important; God spent thousands of years preparing us. Making sure we were ready to hear Christ words, ready to understand the salvation He offers us. He showed the future to the prophets like Isaiah, who left us tempting visions of Christ, “How beautiful on the mountain, are the feet of the one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation, and tells Zion ‘Your God is King!’” Doesn’t this sound like the sermon on the mount.

Our universe is almost 14 billion years old, mankind has been around for 200,000 years, civilisations started about 10,000 years ago, and God has always been there. 6-8 thousand years ago the Old Testament starts to tell us how God choose Israel, and how he prepared them for the messiah, for Christ.

Two thousand years ago, in a stable, in Bethlehem, a light entered our world, a light to shine in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower. Welcome that light, the Word, Christ Jesus, into your hearts today.  Allow it to burn in your hearts, and let it shine on everyone you meet, so that this Christmas it’s your faith that spills across the world and makes it a happier and holier place.

I wish you a happy and holy Christmas, and may God bless us, everyone!

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