Today we celebrate the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the day that the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes and he realized that Christmas didn’t come from a store and perhaps Christmas mean a little bit more. A children’s book is where we get a distilled version of the meaning of Christmas. Today there are a variety of reading for anyone service you attend (vigil, midnight, dawn, and day). I am going to be talking about the readings used for Mass at Dawn.
We begin today in the prophet Isaiah. We hear a prophecy from Isaiah that the Lord say to daughter Zion your Savior comes, this comes from second (or for those among you third) Isaiah. This is pivotal as the people of God are called the redeemed of the Lord; those waiting for the Savior are the redeemed. The Church applies this to the birth of Christ and says that Salvation is at hand.
As we turn to the epistle we get to hear from a unique letter from Paul as it is directed to an individual, Titus, instead of a larger community. We hear a very deep message here that the kindness and love of God came not because we did anything but rather because of the mercy of God and we should be grateful of it. We pick up this message again in the gospel reading as well.
The Gospel reading is the later part of Luke’s Infancy narrative, as we pick up the story we hear that the Angels went away and the shepherds decide to go up to Bethlehem to see “this thing that had taken place.” This is something special about the birth of Christ that it wasn’t announced to the Kings and rulers of the land but to the lowly shepherds who were somewhat outcast of society as they spent mush of their time out in the fields with sheep. Yet these were the first people to come and witness Jesus. The Christian faith is first preached to the poor/the common man and that continues today. The Church cares for everyone the same it doesn’t matter what you bring to it or how much money you put in it as we heard from Paul God care for us and love us and we have to do nothing in return. As we celebrate Christmas with our families and friends let us remember that it is not the gifts we receive but the time shared with one another that means the most.
- Christmas Homily (frjayareddy.wordpress.com)
- Encyclical of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for Christmas 2013 (orthodoxlogos5.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas! (cryandhowl.com)
- Merry Christmas and the Shepherds (samcdonaldblog.com)