If you have not read my homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent I invite you before you read this Christmas homily to read that one. You can access it by going to the menu bar and click on B Cycle Homilies and then scroll down until you see B Cycle 4th Sunday of Advent.
I say this because this homily on Christmas is an extension of that one given on Sunday. Today as preachers we have readings for the vigil mass, the mass at night, the mass at dawn and the mass during the day. So many options and yet the same Lord, the same God the same gift of Jesus Christ was revealed on that Christmas night. We will watch as our parishes have live nativity presentations in church or on the lawn of the church. We will join in the glorious songs giving praise and honor to God and reminding us this is a holy night when everything changed.
We will bring our children to the nativity set up in the church and we will point out the “baby Jesus” and I hate to say it but it is easy to get caught up in the infant and forget this is God. Jesus willingly set aside his glory to come to us in human form to achieve the desire of God to have an intimate relationship with us and destroy the barrier of sin caused by the sin of Adam. This infant is no ordinary baby but it was God. Yet is it so easy for us to overlook that because we do have that human nature that wants to interact with the omnipotent God in the same manner we would interact with any royalty.
This infant is not royalty as we know royalty it is God who invites us to jump into his arms hugging him and call him “daddy.” This is not a God we put into a box and bow before him but it is a God we should tear down the box we have created as acceptable behavior between ourselves and God in order to allow his power to touch us and change us. If you do not believe this then you have missed the scriptures revealing this to us. Think of the woman with the hemorrhage she broke the law which banned her from being in a crowd of people just to get to Jesus. Think of the man healed on the Sabbath another law broken. Think of the healing of the Centurions’ son another law broken. Think of his dining with sinners, choosing a tax collector to be a disciple, Zaccheus and so many more stories where Jesus would not allow anything to restrict is love from touching us.
One thing should be clear to all of us – God sent Jesus to us so that we might be restored as sons and daughters. Today is the day we were changed from sinners to forgiven sons and daughters. There is no barrier between us and God except the barriers of our own making. Today is a day to allow those barriers to be removed by our inviting the love of God to be poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is a day for each of us to kneel before that infant and to say yes I want what you came to fulfill in my life. I want to know the depth of God’s love for me, I want to feel the power of the forgiveness of my sins and I want to live as our disciple. I want to clearly understand how I am to live my life so that it gives glory to your name and builds your kingdom.
Today we celebrate a gift given to us and we are invited to give him a gift of our own – the gift of being bold enough to do whatever it takes to be transformed by his touch.