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YEAR C: HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS DAY. SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD.
HOMILY THEME: JESUS THE WORD …..”And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”
BY: SAINT BASIL
HOMILY: God is on earth, God is among us, not now as lawgiver – there is no fire, trumpet blast, smoke- wreathed mountain, dense cloud, or storm to terrify whoever hears him – but as one gently and kindly conversing in a human body with his fellow men and women. God is in the flesh… How can the Godhead be in the flesh? In the same way as fire can be in iron: not by moving from place to place but by the one imparting to the other its own properties. Fire does not speed toward iron, but without itself undergoing any change it causes the iron to share in its own natural attributes. The fire is not diminished and yet it completely fills whatever shares in its nature. So is it also with God the Word. He did not relinquish his own nature and yet he dwelt among us. He did not undergo any change and yet the Word became flesh. Earth received him from heaven, yet heaven was not deserted by him who holds the universe in being.
Let us strive to comprehend the mystery… “When the grace of God our Savior appeared” (Tit 2:11) and “the Sun of Justice rose,” (Mal 3:20) “death was swallowed up in victory,” (1Cor 15:54) unable to bear the presence of true life. How great is God’s goodness, how deep his love for us! Let us join the shepherds in giving glory to God, let us dance with the angels and sing: “Today a savior has been born to us. He is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11-12)
“The Lord is God and he has appeared to us,” (cf.Ps 118:7) not as God, which would have been terrifying for our weakness, but as a slave so as to free those who live in slavery. Who could be so lacking in sensibility and so ungrateful as not to join all here present in our gladness, exultation, and radiant joy? This feast belongs to the whole of creation. Let everyone contribute and be grateful. Let our voices too ring out in songs of jubilation.
Saint Basil (c.330-379) Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church Homily on the holy generation of Christ, 2.6 ; PG 31, 1459s (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)