THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD – ABC (Mass During the Day)

Theme: GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN CREATION, AND GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN OTHER RELIGIONS, BUT GOD REVEALS HIMSELF FULLY IN JESUS CHRIST

  • Hebrews 1:1-6
  • John 1:1-18

A Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! Today we celebrate Christmas Day! The word Christmas comes from two words, namely, “Christ” and “Mass”! But in Latin it is called “Nativitas Domini”, that is, “the birth of the Lord”! In Italian, Spanish and French, it is also called “the birth of the Lord”! The word “Christmas” refers to the celebration, but the words “Nativitas Domini” (the birth of the Lord) refers to the event! I will therefore begin this homily by reflecting with you on the birth of the Lord as proclaimed to us in St. Luke’s gospel at Midnight Mass last night! I will first summarize the gospel, and then I will reflect on its theology, spirituality, and above all its Good News for all of us! After that I will reflect with you on the New Testament readings for Christmas Day, today, that is, the gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews!

The gospel of Luke tells us about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! ………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Now let us look at the readings of today, Christmas Day, that is, the gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews! The gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews tell us that God reveals himself in creation, and God reveals himself in other religions, but God reveals himself fully, totally, completely, and perfectly in Jesus Christ!

The gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews tell us that God reveals himself in creation! Catholic theology is sacramental and incarnational! We believe that God reveals himself in creation, in nature, in the cosmos, in the stars, in the trees, in the animals, in the mountains, in the seas, in the birds, in the Sun and Moon, etc.!

That is why we have to love and care for creation! We have to love and care for the environment, the trees, the rivers, the seas, the air, the ozone layer, the fishes of the sea, the animals, the birds of the air, the orangutans, the rhinoceros, the rainforest, etc.!

But unfortunately, we have cut down too much of our rainforest, we have polluted our rivers, we are driving our orangutans and other species to extinction, etc.! We have committed environmental sins! We need development of course! We need money of course! We can promote nature tourism or eco-tourism to help people appreciate nature and to help people love and care for nature and to make money of course! I dare say that nature tourism is very spiritual! “Creation Spirituality”!

 

The gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews also tell us that God reveals himself in Judaism and by extension in other religions too! God reveals himself in Judaism, in Islam, in Hinduism, in Buddhism, etc.!

That is why we have to respect other religions! We have to dialogue with other religions, and we have to understand other religions, and we have to love and serve people of other religions, and we have to work together with people of other religions for the good of humanity and for the good of the earth! It is not enough just to tolerate other religions! It is most important and most urgent that we dialogue with Islam!

 

Finally, the gospel of John and the letter to the Hebrews tell us that God reveals himself fully and completely in Jesus Christ, because in Jesus Christ we see the fullness of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness!

The gospel of John today tells us that: “Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ”!

In short, Moses brought the law, justice and punishment, but Jesus Christ brought love, mercy and forgiveness!

Again, the second reading today, from the letter to the Hebrews tells us that: “At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son”!

We have therefore to proclaim this Good News of Christmas to all the world! Every human being must have the right and freedom to hear this Good News of Christmas! But how can they hear this Good News of Christmas if we are not proclaiming it!

The word Christmas comes from two words, namely, “Christ” and “Mass”! The word “Mass” means “Mission”! It is our mission to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world! This is the Christmas present we give to the world! Jesus Christ is the Christmas present we received from God the Father, Jesus Christ is the Christmas present we give to the world!

Again, A Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!

 

Amen!

 

Uncategorized

Msgr Nicholas Ong DD View All →

Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.

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