YEAR A: HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE – 25TH DECEMBER
HOMILY THEME: WEEP NO MORE FOR GOD IS WITH US
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
HOMILY: Vigil Mass
First reading – Is. 62:1-5
Second reading – Acts 13:16-17. 22-25
Gospel – Matt. 1:1-25
First reading – Is. 9:1-7
Second reading – Titus 2:11-14
Gospel – Lk. 2:1-14
Mass at Dawn
First reading – Is. 62:11-12
Second reading – Titus 3:3-7
Gospel – Lk. 2:15-20
Mass during the day
First reading – Is. 52:7-10
Second reading – Heb. 1:1-6
Gospel – Jn. 1:1-18
John rose recalls the story of an old preacher who was praying with great oratorical effects in the midst of a violent hurricane. As the earth quavered and the heaven roared, he cried out, “Send us the spirit of the children of Israel, the children of Moses, the children of the Promised land.” Another brother prayed with more earnestness, “Lord, do not send anybody! Come by Yourself”.
The promise and the coming of Christ were quite timely, at a time when the people of God had felt God distanced Himself from them. It was as if people were done with words of hope which became seemingly unrealistic. They just needed to see the Messiah appear. Little wonder then, the concern of the Jews when they saw John the Baptist was to inquire if he was the Christ or still one of those who had come in the past: “the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘who are you …but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ…” Jn 1:19-23. All concern was whether the long expected Messiah has finally come.
The plights of many today are no difference from that of the Jews as they awaited the coming of the Messiah as promised. Surely, many have asked the question: “where is our God?” Who knows, difficulties might have made yours be as described in Psalm 42 “Like a deer that yearns, for running streams so my soul is yearning for you my God… I have no food but tears day and night, and all day long men say to me, ‘where is your God?” The message of the first reading of the Mass during the day gives hope: Break into shouts of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord is consoling His people – Is. 52:9. Weep no more! To God be all glory! The long expected Messiah is here. He has come to dwell among His people. The angels are singing, shepherds tell the sweet story. Emmanuel is here, God is with us. A great celebration indeed!
ALSO RECOMMEDED: YEAR A: HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
The second reading today (Mass during the day) from the first Chapter of the letter to the Hebrews began with the assertion that “At various time in the past, and in different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken through his Son” Heb 1:1. The image of the “seemed distant God” has become nearer to us. For those who felt God is too far, now is the time to know, yes, your God is with you. What is more, the nearness of God must reflect in our pattern of thought, our actions and our reactions to event. One who feels God is with him need not be afraid. The presence of God among us must elicit the song it is well. The presence of God closer to you now than you once thought he was would make us act only in the proper manner. We would not offend our neighbor; we would not offend God who is among us. Do we act as if God is too far and would not even hear or see us? We must now act as if Emmanuel is here. Yes He is.
Our song today is in Igbo. Sincere apology to those who would not sing along.
Gee nti ndi muozi na ekwe
Gee nti ndi muozi na ekwe
Ha na ekwe na eto nwaeze
Udo ga adiri mba nile
Chukwu na ndi njo ga edoooooo!
(Linsten the angels are singing, they are singing and praising the infant king. Peace to all nations. God will make peace with sinners)
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