YEAR C: HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS VIGIL
HOMILY THEME: THE UNIVERSAL KING
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY: We are here tonight to celebrate God’s love for humanity. For the light has finally shined from the end of the tunnel after many years of darkness of sin and hopelessness for humanity.
Today, that Word that took flesh has dwelt among us. Therefore I invite all of us to join the shepherd at the manger in order to pay homage to the child Jesus the Universal king. The prophet Isaiah reminds us in the first reading of today, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9).
However, this great king was born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. God has decided not to forsake anyone, and that is why he chose that his only begotten son will be born in a manger. A king born in a manger is a contradiction to a world where the rich think they are more important before God.
Thus, while the rich and the smart had occupied the Inn, Mary and Joseph decided to join the Shepherds in the manger.
Also, it is also difficult to understand why the angel had to appear to the shepherds first, in order to break such important news to them. Thereby giving them the privilege to rush to the scene to confirm the message of the angel, and thereby shared the first joy of the Holy Family. This event preaches to us that Jesus Christ was neither for the poor, nor for the rich, but for everyone. The first reading still reminds us that, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shinned…. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for fire” (Is. 9). This darkness and battle could be spiritual; that is the battle of sin, addiction, and temptation which tries to bring us down every day. It could also be a physical battle and the darkness of human needs. Christ birth has given us hope and we have every reason to rejoice today.
The joy of tonight should not be for you alone, but should be extended to our family, and to others in need of our love, care and prayers. Always have a smile on your face and be the reason why other will rejoice today. As we celebrate this mass tonight, we join the multitude of angels as we read in the gospel of today, to sing the heavenly song: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2).