24 December 2021 – Christmas Eve (Year C)

By Fr Joachim Robert

Isaiah 9:1-7
Psalm 95
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14

Theme: Rejoice for Christ is Born

Dear friends,

As we come to this celebration of the birth of Jesus, this celebration where we come to acknowledge the mercy, the love of God for each and every one of us.  Because today, dear friends, the mystery of the incarnation, the mystery of God’s love comes to perfection.  And it is being fulfilled.

But whenever we look at the crib, of how this child was born, we see that there is so much imperfections around the crib because the crib lacked so many things. The crib does not have the luxury that many of us have.  The crib is deprived of so many things for a child to be born.

And as we look at the crib, dear friends, we also look at the many areas of our lives which we can resonate with the crib, with the imperfection of the crib.  And as we look again and again, we come to realise the crib is not only a fixture, or a manger, or a stable, but it is also a reflection of our own lives, a reflection of the realities that are around us. Because our world, dear friends, is so imperfect.

We have the flood all around the world, and even in our country, in Klang, in Miri, in Johor.  We have people who have broken relationship, who cannot speak to their family members, who cannot even look at them; and we also have friends who we are unable to call them friends anymore.  There are people who are lonely, there are people who are financially distressed, there are people who have lost all sense of hope.  And all these, dear friends, speaks about what the imperfection of the crib is.

But when we reflect further, we come to realise it is in those imperfect situations of life that God comes to dwell.  It is in those imperfections of life that God choose to come and make a home.  And it is in your life and it is in my life, dear friends, that God wants to come and dwell among us.  

Dear friends, as we prepare the mangers of our hearts, we need to remember that God chose those mangers to make his dwelling.  And this whole period of Advent leading up to Christmas, the Parish has taken the theme from Revelations: Behold I make all things new.  Prepare the mangers of your heart for Jesus Emmanuel, the source of our hope.  

And as we look at the mangers of our lives, dear friends, how imperfect we are in our relationship with God, how imperfect we are in our relationship with one another, we come to realise that we too are not perfect, just like the manger. But God chooses to come and dwell and be together with us in order to come and dwell with us and allow the mystery of the incarnation, the mystery of love to reveal itself.  

Because whenever we are in darkness, dear friends, the First Reading of today mentions: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.  On those who live in the land of deep shadow, a light has shone.  

God wants to shine his light in your life, dear friends.  God wants to shine his light in our lives, in our world.  But are we willing to accept this grace that God has given to us with our whole heart?  Because the Saviour, as the Responsorial Psalm says today: Today a Saviour has been born to us: He is Christ the Lord.

Do we want to acknowledge this mystery of God’s love in our lives and allow him to transform us and mold us because as St Paul tells us in the Second Reading, God’s grace has been revealed to us and it is revealed in that child, in that manger.  But if we allow that child to be born in our lives, we must allow that child also to be shared with the people around us.

Because just as we find hope in Jesus, just as we find hope in this mystery of God’s love, we are called to respond in love because that hope that God gives us makes us realize and leads us forward in being a source of inspiration and being a source of hope towards others.  Just as God humbles himself to become a blessing to us, dear friends, we too are called to be a blessing towards others by sharing Jesus with one another.

And Jesus comes to us not in the grandeur of things but Jesus comes in the insignificance of the manger where he chose to make his dwelling.  And today, dear friends, as we look into the account of the Gospel, we know that Mary and Joseph, with the situation that they were in, knocked at many inns but they could not find a dwelling for Jesus.  And they needed to choose a manger to allow the child to be born.  

And today, dear friends, the Lord knocks the door of your hearts, the Lord knocks the mangers of  your hearts to be open to him and to allow the child to be born and to allow that grace of God to shine in and through you as how Isaiah says: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.  

Each one of us, dear friends, are called to be that shining light towards one another.  Because in your life, God has made his dwelling, God has shone that light.  Are you willing to allow that grace of God to shine within you and out of you so that you can be a blessing towards others?  

And I would like to invite you to take a look of this video that we have done in preparation towards our celebration of Christmas, as we prepared ourselves from Advent.  A time where we have come together as a community of faith in order to make that manger, to make that crib, one that is imperfect though, but because of the love that we have put in place, because of the love that we have brought together as a community, we allow Jesus to be reborn in our lives.  

And there are so many people, dear friends, who have made this possible. And we want to give praise and thanks to God for the many blessings that they have been towards our community, in the same way as many, many of you have been towards our community.  Let us give praise and thanks to God and as we are blessed with this video, to let us acknowledge of how God works and dwells among us.

Click below to listen to homily and watch video:-

Click to live-stream Mass on 24 December 2021