December 25, 2020
The people who walked in darkness saw a great light;
inhabited earth and shadows of death, and a light shone them.
Today we were born a Savior: the Messiah, the Lord.
The grace of God, which brings salvation to all men, has been manifested.
… The time of delivery came to her and gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in diapers and lay him down in a manger, for there was no room for them at the inn.
Reading the book of Isaiah 9, 1-6
The people who walked in darkness saw a great light;
inhabited earth and shadows of death, and a light shone them.
You enjoyed joy, you increased joy;
are enjoyed in your presence, as you enjoy by mowing,
how happy they are at handing out the loot.
For the rod of the oppressor, the yoke of his burden,
the cane on his shoulder, you broke them like Madián’s day.
Because the boot that treads in a shudust and the blood-soaked robe
will be fuel, firegrass.
Because a child has been born to us, a child has been given to us:
carries the principality on his shoulders, and is his name:
“Wonder of Counselor, Strong God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace”.
To dilate the principality, with boundless peace,
about David’s throne and his kingdom.
To sustain it and consolidate it with justice and law, from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of the universe will do so.
Exit 95, 1-2a. 2b-3. 11-12. 13
R/. Today we were born a Savior: the Messiah, the Lord
Sing to the Lord a new song,
sing to the Lord, the whole earth;
sing to the Lord, bless his name. R/.
Proclaim your victory day after day.
Tell the peoples their glory,
their wonders to all nations. R/.
Go to heaven, enjoy the earth,
the sea rumbles and fills it;
cheer the fields and what’s in them,
hail the trees of the forest. R/.
Before the Lord, who is coming,
already comes to rule the earth:
will rule the orb fairly
and peoples faithfully. R/.
Reading St Paul’s Letter to Titus 2: 11-14
God’s grace has been manifested, which brings salvation to all men, teaching us that, by renounting ungodliness and worldly desires, we now lead a sober, just and pious life, awaiting the joy we expect and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us to rescue us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his property, devoted entirely to good works.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Luke 2, 1-14
It happened in those days that a decree of Emperor Augustus came out, ordering the whole Empire to be packed.
This first packing became Cirino governor of Syria. And they were all going to get a sandwich, each in their city.
Joseph, also, being from David’s house and family, went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, in Judea, to become engron with his wife Mary, who was pregnant. And it came to happen that, while they were there, the time of delivery came to her and gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in diapers, and lay him down in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same region there were shepherds who spent the night outdoors, taking turns watching over their flock.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord presented himself to them; the glory of the Lord enveloped them with clarity, and they were filled with great fear.
The angel said to them:
“Fear not, I announce to you a good news that will be of great joy to all the people: today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you, the Messiah, the Lord. And here’s the sign: you’ll find a child wrapped in diapers and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, around the angel, a legion of the heavenly army appeared, praising God, saying:
“Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace to men of good will.”
The liturgy of the Nativity of the Lord is very rich and abundant. We have chosen to share and comment today on the texts of midnight Mass, the traditionally called Rooster Mass.
If any night is a time of gathering and family, of silence and rest, this Holy Night is much more so. Normally the darkness of the night besettles us and introduces us symbolically into the mystery of death; but also its silence takes us to the depths of our hearts, from where the most authentic essence of ourselves springs, because night is a time of sincerity and truth. Night is time of salvation.
On the night of Bethlehem God wanted to open the eyes of his humanity to our world in the light of the stars, contemplated and sung by shepherds and angels, before the astonished but joyful gaze of Joseph and Mary.
With Joseph and Mary we too on this Holy Night contemplate the mystery of God made man for our salvation. It’s no use thinking, it’s not time to talk, just behold. To contemplate how the Eternal has entered time, how the Almighty has become poor and small, how the Word has become flesh and has placed his abode among us. It is time to look at Jesus the child and let himself be looked at by Him. God looks at each of us through the newly opened eyes in the light of a Child called to be Prince of Peace. And we look at him, with Joseph and Mary, with the angels and shepherds, astonished and full of joy, without understanding the mystery, but open to his truth. Truth that enlightens and liberates, that rejoices and regenerates… because in it is the Truth that illuminates my truth.
And the night became day, and the stars made their way to the Sun. To the people who inhabited darkness a light shone.
This is Christmas…
The word Christmas means nativity, birth, childbirth, life. God is someone alive, who gives us life, who comes alive so that we may have life in his name. In his Son Jesus Christ has taken our mortal flesh to lead us to immortality, he has incarnated himself so that we may be divinized; in Him, the mystery hidden from all eternity has manifested itself and revealed in time.
Christmas is synonymous with silence and contemplation, prayer and praise, joy and thanksgiving. These popular and Christmas-like songs, which we call carols, show the joyful expression of men and women of all time who sing to God, like shepherds and angels before the manger of Bethlehem.
Christmas also means poverty and humility; God became poor in his Son Jesus to enrich us all. There was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary, this couple of young Galileans probably without too many resources; and then the King of the Universe is born in a stable, surrounded by animals, and wrapped in diapers is lying in a manger. Its anonyment is evident from the beginning.
Christmas is light and truth, it is renewal and liberation. For Christ was born to destroy the darkness of sin and enlighten our consciences. In Him has manifested the grace of God that brings salvation for all men.
Christmas is family and community, it’s love and peace. Surrounded by the love of Mary and Joseph is how Jesus is born. And of such love he will live surrounded always. God wanted to be born of a woman, as we are all born, to live in a family, to work with his own hands, to earn bread with the sweat of his forehead. How much love there would be in that beautiful family, the family of Nazareth, the Holy Family.
At Christmas we recall God’s greatest commitment to humanity. The eternal Son of the Father became flesh forever, for us, and for our salvation. May such a delivery be fruitful for all. May we, in this particular year, feel God close again and pass it on to those around us.
In this space today we offer several prayers taken from different places. This Christmas, when you are reunited or reunited with your family, remind everyone what Christians celebrate, the birth of Christ, and invite them to pray with you.
Prayer to Jesus before the Bethlehem
Jesus, Son of Mary, Son of God, the Christmas Light has come as it came to the shepherds and wizards of the East. In Bethlehem, in your weak flesh, there is all the love of God, in your flesh is that love, that tenderness, that confident hope that only God is able to give.
Looking at you lying in the manger, accompanied by the love of Mary and Joseph, I want to put in your hands my illusions and my fears. And I want to put in your hands the whole world: whom I love most and whom I do not know, those closely and those from afar; and, above all, those who suffer the most.
Jesus, son of Mary, Son of God, enlighten us with the clarity of your love, enlightens the whole world with the clarity of your love.
Blessing of the table
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Father, we celebrate Christmas, the day when your Son, out of love for us, became a man and was born of a woman: the Virgin Mary.
This Child gathers us around the table that we will share full of joy, hope, love and peace, because he makes it possible, today more than ever, for us to be family.
We ask you to bless us and bless the bread your Love offers us. We ask you for those who do not have bread, do not have a home, have no work, have no family, for those who are sick, for those who recently lost a loved one, for those who have no peace because they lack You.
We pray that the heart of each of us will be a humble Pesebre, where Jesus can be born, and thus, overcoming all that divides us, we will be able to renew this family every day. Amen.
Prayer from our smallness, poverty and weakness
Baby Jesus, Child God, you have come so small, so vulnerable, so poor, so weak for us. I offer you the fears of my weakness, of my vulnerability, of my smallness, of my poverty. I place everything I am in your pure, innocent heart. Yes, I’m consing to you, Baby Jesus. King of Love, I am fully associated with your innocence, your purity. Yes, You are the true Love, the true beauty, You are the One who suspects nothing. The innocence of your gaze will save us! Baby Jesus, save me for your innocence!”
Family prayer to put the Child in the manger
Before midnight on December 24, when you are gathered or reunited with your family to place the image of the Child God in the manger, we invite you to recite this short prayer to ask Jesus to also be born in your heart and that of your loved ones.
Dear Father, God of heaven and earth:
On this holy night we want to thank you for so much love. Thank you for our family and for our home. Thank you for the people who work with us.
Bless us on this special day when we await the birth of your Son. Help us prepare our hearts to receive the Child Jesus with love, joy and hope. We are gathered here to worship him and thank him for coming into our world to fill our lives.
Today, as we contemplate the manger, we especially remember families who have no roof, food and comfort. We ask you for them, so that Our Lady and St. Joseph will help them find a warm home.
Good Father, we ask that the Child Jesus also be born in our hearts so that we may give others the love that You show us day by day. Help us reflect with our lives your abundant mercy.
May we, together with your Angels and Archangels, always praise and glorify you.
(At this time someone in the family puts the Child Jesus in the manger, or if he is already there, a small candle or candle is placed before Him.)
Blessed Virgin Mary, thank you for agreeing to be the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, thank you for your love and protection. We know that every day you intercede for us and for our intentions, thank you Mother.
Dear Saint Joseph, thank you for being a father and protector of the Child Jesus, we ask you to pray to God for us so that we may be a family united in love and be an example of peace and reconciliation for others.
God save you, Mary…
Glory to the Father…