HOMILY FOR THE CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS, YEAR A.*
*THEME: THIS CHILD FULFILLED OUR HOPE*
Beloved in Christ, this night is a special night ; for it is on this night that God chooses to become man and to live with us. Therefore, I would like to welcome everyone who has returned home to celebrate this joy with their family.
But as we rejoice, let us not forget the many people who because of their life situation during the course of the year cannot celebrate this joy due to loss of loved ones, disappointments etc. However, let me quickly add that the joy or the good news of the Christmas story is not the parties, the new dresses but the assurance that Christ has come to live with us.
Beloved, Christmas then is a time of hope in a God who fulfills his promises to humanity by coming to dwell among us. This is beautifully captured by the prophet Isaiah when he says “the people who live in darkness have seen a great light.” (cf Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16) This darkness connotes fear – people who were living in fear now have no reason to be fearful because God himself is living with them and promises never to abandon or forsake us (cf Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 42:16)
Beloved in Christ, Christmas is therefore a celebration for all people no matter who they are; rich or poor, male or female, young or old. For Jews, Christ came with a message for salvation for each one of us. We are therefore celebrating the fact of God living with us, the restoration of our relationship with God and with one another. God took what is ours so that He may give us what is His. (John 3:32)
However, the truth is if you don’t feel the need for a saviour then the birth of Jesus would not be any good news to you. For if you don’t feel sick, you will not feel the need for a doctor. This celebration therefore challenges us to give up everything that does not lead us to God.(Titus 2:11-14) And are we ready to embrace this challenge.