Christmas Vigil & Day
Dec. 25, 2022: Isaiah 52: 7-10; Hebrew 1:1-6; John 1:1-5,9-14.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn1:5).
AS if by divine design, here in the USA, we celebrate Advent and Christmas during the darkest part of the year. That’s very symbolic! Darkness is humanity’s essential state. However, there is a”…light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…”(Jn.1:5).
In other words, in the darkest most lifeless season, the light of day now begins to grow in length and strength. There is a promise of new life ahead. At the darkest point in our year, and in our lives, Christmas reminds us that there is no darkness powerful enough, to overwhelm the power of God’s light and love. Hence, our God is a God of endless life and hope. In Jesus, God has become EMMANUEL: always with us and always for us! Alleluia is our song!
Significance: The most paramount symbols that are used to communicate to us the greatness of the birth of Jesus Christ in human history are the Christmas tree and Crib which commemorate the Incarnation of the Savior. The custom of placing them near each other alludes to paradise, the tree of life, next to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This reminds us of Adam’s creation, and of Christ, the new Adam, whose life is enclosed by the crib and cross. “Death came from the tree of paradise, and life resurrected from the tree of the Cross. Thus, the tree belongs to the birth, alluding to the Cross, the tree of life” (St. John Paul II).
Life Message: One of the Christmas Psalm refrains says: “Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord” (Lk.2:11). The word “TODAY” keeps running through my mind, that surely, Christ was born over 2000 years ago, but today he is born for each one of us. Today he comes to each of us to the degree that we can open our hearts to him. Today he comes to us in those we love, in those we forgive, in those who cause us distress, in those we serve and care for. Today he comes to us in prayer, especially in our greatest prayer-The Mass, where we listen to his Word, and then he offers us himself, as our spiritual food and drink in the Holy Communion.
Conclusion: Therefore, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we reflect, with thankfulness to God, on all the blessings we have received in our lives. And so, with the humility of the shepherds, let’s set out towards the Child in the stable and touch God’s humility, God’s heart. Then his joy will touch us and make the world more radiant. For, “God made himself a baby so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him… Christmas has become a feast of gifts in imitation of God, who has given
himself to us. Let us allow our heart, soul, and mind to be touched by this fact” (Pope Benedict XVI).
PRAYER: Therefore, let us share this old beautiful prayer before the presents under the Christmas tree are distributed and opened: “Our Heavenly Father, before we open our gifts, we want to thank you for making Christmas possible. We remember that you gave Jesus to the world, and that he began his earthly life in a family. Help us to make him known in the world today, by the love we show him and each other in this family. Just as the Christmas tree stays green in winter as well as summer, give us the power to be true to you at all times. May these presents make us grateful for the love of those who gave them. Reward with blessings all who do kind things for others. Because we know that happiness of Christmas can stay with us only while we are loving, loyal, and thankful, we ask these
things in the name of the Christ Child, who is our Savior and Lord”. AMEN.