HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS (MASS DURING THE DAY) (5)







HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS (MASS DURING THE DAY)

THEME: GOD BECOMES MAN.

BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya.

HOMILY FOR 25TH DECEMBER.

 

Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98
Hebrew 1:1-6
John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas to you all! May the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus always be in our hearts as it is today. Today, we have seen the glory of Jesus in the Church, in the world, in our families, everywhere we look. Everyone is joyfully celebrating the fulfillment of the promise of God the Father to send a Redeemer into the world. But how did God do this? He did it by Himself becoming man like us.

“Once upon a time there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a Scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn’t believe all that stuff about Incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to pretend that he did. “I am truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. “But I simply cannot understand this claim that God becomes man. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

On Christmas Eve his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. “I’d feel like a hypocrite,” he explained. “I’d rather stay at home. But I’ll wait up for you.”

Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. “If we must have Christmas,” he thought, “it’s nice to have a white one.” He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another.

He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his living-room window. When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the storm. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window. “I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” Then he remembered the barn where the children’s pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter.

RELATED: HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS
 
He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the door wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn’t come in. “Food will lure them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn. To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction – except into the warm lighted barn.

“They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself, “and I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety. . . .”

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silent for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I do understand,” he whispered. “Now I see why You had to do it.”

Yes! Now he understood why God has to become man.
When God assumed our human flesh, God also decided, out of love for us, that he would put up with all sorts of human problems, too: sadness, disappointment, sadness, the death of his friends and members of his family, betrayals. God knew all that going into the deal. But it didn’t matter; because that’s how much God does love us. Even death on a Cross was not enough to prevent him from coming among us. He came to be like us just for us to understand Him.

As individuals, He also comes into our very own lives as we work to do his good in the world. It is he who is our impetus for every good. He guides us, he inspires us, and it is he who helps us to bring good to the rest of the world. But of course what we also shouldn’t forget is that as a community of believers we have always got to be the means of God’s light shining in the darkness of the world. Whatever anyone else is doing, we have got to be the instruments of his love and care and forgiveness and justice, dispelling the cruelty and the greed and the untruth and the manipulation that do so much to disfigure people’s lives, their relationships and the community they live in. We’ve got to have that sense that even if the majority never turns and embraces the Christian message, our job as the little flock is to keep the light of God’s truth shining in a world that gets very dark sometimes.

“While the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The grace to do the will of God is brought to us by Jesus Christ, and he is the light. As we profess in the creed: “Light from light, true God from true God…”

Christmas invites us to listen. To listen for God’s messengers. To listen for His good news.
And what good news it is: that God is with us! That we are no longer alone. That He has come into our lives, and into our world. “The grace of God has appeared,” Paul writes. Or as Isaiah puts it so beautifully: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
This is the news we have been waiting for.

 

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