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THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD--CHRISTMAS MASS DURING THE DAY DECEMBER 25, 2018


The Gospel according to John 1:1-18

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

REFLECTION:

Holy mother Church reminds us every Advent Season that the first coming of our Lord Jesus and Savior of humanity was foretold by the prophets of old and that our Lord will come again at the final judgement. Jesus himself foretold his second coming and his message marked the beginning of Advent. On the first Sunday of Advent we read:

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:25-28)

What a wise mother we have! God knows that our human nature requires constant reminding. For Catholics, the Advent Season is like a family gathering where the elders of the family talk to us about events of the past and insights for future things to come – the younger members hear it for the first time and older ones are reminded once again – giving us a sense of pride that we are all tied together, both by our past and by our future. This is the essence of family and, I dare say, what gives us hope for the future.

Family gatherings are good – at home and at church – and story-telling is a necessary part of it. Jesus has come - Alleluia! However, from the beginning there were some who rejected Him and those who accepted Him.

“But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12)

We leave this Advent Season refreshed and renewed by the retelling of these heavenly family stories. As elders, we are called to tell this most hopeful story, throughout the year, to members estranged from God’s family and to those with a holy longing to belong to His family. This is the greatest hope for our natural family and for the family of God. "And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) It is the driving reason to offer prayers and sacrifices for one another in the hope of spending our eternal future with Him.

Rejoice and praise God now and forever!


PAPA Foundation
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