by Fr Joachim Robert
Theme: Jesus Christ is our HOPE
Yesterday we celebrated the mystery of the nativity, of the coming of Jesus born in the manger. And today we celebrate with so much of enthusiasm, so much of joy. And every year, dear friends, we continue to celebrate, to recount this whole aspect of salvation history and to dig deeper into that mystery of salvation, the mystery of the incarnation.
And I am sure every year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we get excited, with so much of enthusiasm because Jesus is born. But amidst all the fun, the eating and all the festivities, we need to enter into a deeper realisation of who Jesus is in our lives. Because in each and every year, dear friends, the Lord invites us to dig deeper into our own self, to see how Jesus is reborn in our lives because with all the aspect and circumstances of the world, it may seem bleak, may seem gloomy and dark.
But the Gospel today invites us and tells us that Jesus was the light. And John the Baptist was a witness to the light. And as we recant our own stories, our own stories of how we have come to faith, how Jesus has allowed himself to be born in our lives, we must realise that that journey that we take, that journey of hope each and every year must allow us to restore our hope in Him because He has made a choice for us.
In the Second Reading from the letter to the Hebrews, it says:-
At various times in the past and 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, the Son that He has appointed to inherit everything and through whom He has made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of His nature.
You and I, dear friends, in this time of Christmas are called to take a relook at our own journey of hope. In the areas that we have drifted away from God, the journey that we have put ourselves before God. And we are called to bear witness to that light of Christ that is born in our hearts. Because as we allow that interior journey to take place, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through our lives, we are able to see the transformation, the conversion of heart, of where we are and where we ought to be because of the love that the Father has for us.
And the child in the manger, dear friends, invites us to take a relook at ourselves. And if we contemplate on that manger, with the struggles that Mary and Joseph had in preparing a manger for Jesus, we too have experiences of those circumstances of life. Those areas of life that we have been drifted, those areas of life that we have lost our sense of hope, those areas of life that we have broken our relationship, where we have to leave our comfort zone in order to move a step forward towards where God wants of us.
But we must be reminded, dear friends, that journey that we take together with God is a journey that restores our hope. Because in that bleak moment where there was no place in the inn, God choose to come in a manger and to make Himself known to humanity.
And you and I, dear friends, are that manger. Our hearts are that manger which God wants to make His residence, which God wants to abide, which God wants to be born. So let us ask ourselves, as we take this step and this journey forward, are we afraid to take that step because of all the obstacles and the challenges that lies before us? Are we willing, like the shepherds, to not be afraid and be bringers and messengers of hope towards one another?
If we are able to embrace the goodness that God has given to us, the gift that is given to His Son, Jesus Christ, we would be able to become bearers of that message of hope, that message of salvation, that message of love.
And today as we see so many of young people, children singing joys for Christmas, especially this Christmas morning, because usually on Christmas mornings very difficult to get people to sing. But today the children resounds the voice of the angels in how the child in the manger cry out to us. And let that cry reawaken in us, dear friends, the areas of life that need to be reawaken, areas that we have drifted past into dark places, but allow that cry of the child to lead us into the joy of that salvation that Jesus brings into our lives.
And as the responsorial psalm says today:-
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
At every aspect of our hearts, at every aspect of our lives, see the salvation of God because the child is born. And as we take this step forward, acknowledging this great day of the nativity, of the mystery of the incarnation, let God speak to us and lead us in that path of hope which finds our hope only in Jesus. As we take this step forward, dear friends, and let us not forget the people around us. People who are struggling in their own journey, people who are struggling financially, people who are struggling emotionally and financially distressed.
And with so many obstacles and challenges that is around the world, let us allow the child in that manger to speak to us and make us become messengers of hope and love to one another.
Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-