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Homily Mass of Christmas Night - December 2022

A message of Hope, a message of love, a message of joy

 

by Rev Deacon Michael Kennedy


Homily Mass of Christmas Night Dec 2022


A ray of hope flickers in the sky, A tiny star, lights up way up high, all across the Land dawns a brand new dawn, this comes to pass when a Child is born

A silent wish, sails the seven seas, the winds of change whisper in the seas, And the walls of doubt crumbles tossed and torn, this comes to pass when a child is born


That popular Christmas song of a few years ago is one I really like. And unlike so many Christmas number ones these days, it actually has a Christian message.

it has a wonderful image,

A message of Hope, A message of love, a message of joy

We all need Joy, Hope and love at the moment.

I can’t stand here tonight and say that All is well with our world. We can’t ignore that in Europe there is War in Ukraine, and tonight there are people who are in need of hope, love, and Peace.


There is still Hunger and famine in parts of the World

Covid is still out there and we are all still affected by it.

We can’t ignore that here on our own doorsteps, tonight there are people who are struggling, struggling to heat their homes, struggling to feed their families, struggling to make ends meet. Struggling to provide the basics

We can’t ignore that so much of our workforce is having to strike to raise awareness of their needs simply to survive and be treated with fairness.

And yet tonight we come with this very much at the forefront of our minds and we come to remember and to celebrate , that hope, that joy, that peace, that love, that is found in this Child.

If I am honest with you, I am not a great fan of Christmas. No don’t be scandalised, by that I mean I get frustrated and tired and irritated by all the hype, by the way our Christian feast of the Birth of God’s own Son has been turned into a shopping frenzy, that fact that it begins in October, the fact that our televisions are showing Christmas films all during November, the fact that even on the programmes that are supposed to reflect everyday life in this country, there is a hardly a mention of the Feast of Christmas.

And this year, for the first time, there is no Televised Midnight Mass from any Catholic Church on any of the main stream television channels. For our Great Feast of Christmas! Looking at the Radio Times the other day it would appear that both our TV and Radio Stations have given us the opportunity of hearing and sharing the Christmas Message, the real Christmas Message, on just 4 occasions! Twice today and twice tomorrow.

How generous of them!

What gives me hope though is what we are here for tonight. Seeing all of you here this evening.

We have come together not just to be together, important though that is.

We have come together because we are a People of Hope, we are a People of Faith, we are a people doing our best in these difficult circumstances to recall, to remember, and to give thanks for the greatest gift that God our Father gave us, the Gift of Jesus His Son. God Made man and born of the Virgin Mary in that Stable in Bethlehem

God made man who came to be with us, not just to visit. But to Stay.

God Made man, who journeys with us in these difficult days.

God Made Man who reaches out to us because he loves us.

Tonight we come because we want to Make Jesus Welcome, Welcome in our hearts, Welcome in our Families, Welcome in our Homes, Welcome in our communities.

We have come tonight, because, in spite of all the hype and the unnecessary trappings that surround the celebrations of Christmas in our Secular Society, for you and for me, what is important is that we want to make Space for Jesus, we want to welcome him in Silence into our lives. And Jesus wants to come to us. He wants to part of us. He wants to live with us. Not just today, or even tonight. But Each day and every day.

Every time we celebrate Christmas we are reminded that God entered our world in poverty and humility so that he could dwell with us.

We must welcome him

We must make time for him

We must learn about him and listen to his words as we read then in the Gospels.

All that Jesus Christ said and did as a man speaks to us of the truths about God.

They tell us what we mean to him and what he should mean to us. We must then get to know him as a person. This is what we are called to do, in stillness, in silence, in reflection, in prayer, in those brief moments during our busy day.

For so many people sadly today its easy to celebrate Christmas and miss the main point, or become so familiar with the message that it fails to make an impact in our lives. It should have a profound effect upon our lives. We celebrate God’s entry into the world, entering our world in order to enter our lives. He came to share what we are in order to give meaning to what we do, to heal wounds, to give life.

So as we come tonight we can all ask ourselves. Am I ready to let the Lord enter into my life? Am I ready to give him a room in my heart, in my home. When the Lord knocks at my door, will I let him in?

And let’s remember also, that when Jesus was born, he came into a world in turmoil. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light the prophet Isaiah told us in our first reading, that light that shines on those who live in a land of deep shadow. He came into a country under occupation. He soon after his birth had to flee a tyrannical King who was trying to kill him. He, Mary and Joseph fled as refuges to a foreign Land.

Things have not changed much in 2000 years. There are still wars, conflicts and unrest. And that will always be.

But tonight as we come together on Christmas Night 2022, let us recall that we are not alone, we are that people of Faith, of Hope, of love and a people who strive to be at peace. Let us remember that Jesus comes to us, and calls us, because he loves us. For us a child is born to us, a son given to us.

As the psalmist says Today a Saviour has been born to us, He is Christ the Lord.

Let us remember with hope tonight that the Child Jesus was born for You and for Me. In Love

And he came as a gift to our world.

Christmas is about this gift. And so I ask you what gift do you want to bring to the Lord Jesus tonight? maybe it’s a gift, a request, a need, a sorrow, a hope or a dream. I wonder what it might be?

What, in faith, do you wish to bring to the Lord Jesus?

At the end of Mass we will bring the image of the Baby Jesus to our Crib and place it there with Mary and Joseph. So before you leave the church tonight, Go to the Crib, Bring yourself and the needs of those you love to the Baby Jesus.

Come to the Manager.

And as we do this we can recall once more as the words of the Song tells us

Long time ago in Bethlehem so the Holy Bible says. Mary’s boy Child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day. Hark now hear the Angels sing, a new King born today, and Man will live forever more because of Christmas day. Trumpets Sound and angels sing, listen to what they say, that Man will live forever more, because of Christmas day.







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