Christmas (Christ, Mass)
Today the Church celebrates the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour JESUS Christ into this world. In JESUS, the eternal God and Son of the Father who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, was born in Bethlehem. This birth of the Saviour of the World had been awaited for centuries, and after it, nothing would ever be the same again, because from that moment onwards, the God-man began His divine mission of snatching us back from the clutches of Satan, and restoring to us what was lost by the Original Sin of our first parents. Now the whole of the human race in all times and all places, through the sacrifice that Christ would make on the Cross thirty three years later, would be able to regain the eternal life which had been lost by the Original Sin. This was the reason God gathered His Chosen People Israel and led them into the Promised Land. This was the reason the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets of the Old Testament to tell us exactly the time and place of the Saviour’s birth. This is why the angels sang to the shepherds, “Gloria in excelsis Deo”, and why the Magi came and worshipped the new-born Child bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
This truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God which we celebrate on this Christmas Day should radiate through all we do as Christians. It’s an opportunity for us to be amazed once again at God’s great love for us, and at the lengths to which He will go to win us back and save us. It’s also an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to Christ and to live more deeply the beauty of our Catholic Faith, and to frequent the Sacraments, especially Penance and the Holy Eucharist, which are all encounters with the same Christ-Child Who became incarnate among us two thousand years ago.
Christmas is a time when many who do not frequent church throughout the year come to Mass. If you’ve been away from the Church for some time, let today be a new beginning. The Christ-Child is calling you now to return fully, make a good Confession so that you may receive Him again in Holy Communion and be a regular part of this worshipping community. In the words of the Christmas carol, “Yet what I can I give Him – give my heart”.
May God bless you all, and on behalf of Fr Simon, Fr David and myself, I wish you a very Merry Christmas (Mary, Christ, Mass) and a blessed New Year.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC