"Jesus comes at the Incarnation out of LOVE, with sorrow for our sins but also and above all with compassion for our miseries and sins"
Brothers and sister: Merry Christmas! This is very special and unique celebration and with the Help of The Holy Spirit I want to share with you what I have in my heart as a priest and pastor (shepherd) but also like any of you here tonight I am also part of this Community as a sheep, knowing that I also have and need a SHEPHERD, I also can't live without a PASTOR, our Lord Jesus Christ who comes to us this Christmas for you and for me.
How can we say Merry Christmas or happy holidays (some get it wrong) if we see around almost everywhere in society is corrupted and doesn’t look Christian anymore. How can we talk about Christmas if there is bad news everywhere?
What kind of celebration is this in where regardless of how bad we are we can still say MERRY CHRISTMAS OR IN SPANISH FELIZ NAVIDAD (Happy Christmas) Let's say it clear brothers and sisters, Jesus comes at the Incarnation out of LOVE, with sorrow for our sins but also and above all with compassion for our miseries and sins.
Christmas is not the celebration of something that has being a success, a clap of the hands of the Angels or Gods hands. It is not a prize for our good behavior, it is not a medal that God gives to our world... Christmas, the proclamation of Good News of The Coming of Jesus is not a prize... the Incarnation is the announcement of the coming of the medicine for the whole world, for a messed up world in dire need of Gods forgiveness and grace. Believe me my fellow sinner, God knows how many needs we have in our hearts.
And if the Angels sing the glory of God it is because He has shown His greatness by showing himself compassionate with us sinners. His is proving in the Incarnation that His hands are so powerful that are capable to reach and touch the rich and the poor with power and compassion.
If we are happy and joyful in this Christmas is because God, the Emmanuel, God became flesh and in the Eucharist , because God with us wants to become food and medicine for us... Because brothers and sisters, it will be a terrible mistake if we separate Christmas from Easter and what happen in between. We can't forget that the same baby born in Bethlehem is the one that dies on the cross and rose to save us. We say it every Sunday: FOR US AND FOR OUR SALVATION, HE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN... And WAS INCARNATE of THE VIRGIN MARY. The cross is just the culmination of what started at the first Christmas in Bethlehem: The Incarnation. If we are joyful brothers and sisters is also because all of these in not a fairytale. God wants to be our protection and new divine life.
For all the ones that feel that things at home or in the members of my family, in the neighborhood, at work, in my friends... For all of us, let's thank God for this great gift, The gift of His Son. He has never forgaten you or your necessities (needs)
Once again, the joy of Christmas will be hard or impossible to understand the ones without problems. But if you, like me, like us at St. Mark Family are Fighting with our struggles and challenges, if we are still trying and trying again to improve in rejecting our temptations, miseries and problems... Brothers and sisters, the help has come, the medicine has arrive in The Incarnation with the coming of this baby at Christmas for you and for me. Let's also pray for those that are fighting against all of these but without the help and grace of God, for those suffering depression, let's pray hard this night my family for those that are suffering loneliness and in the midst of that, don't know what to do with their lives... So that they can also raise their eyes like us and grab the strong hand of Jesus our Savior, so that they can see the merciful eyes of our God and Savior and find a door to a new existence and the joy, the real joy we can't find outside of God.
I need you Jesus, I need you because I need the Joy that you bring on Christmas for me and everyone, You said that you cam for the sick, came I heal me.
Lord, we thank you for this Christmas day. we believe that you became a little child to redeem us and show me the Father’s love. Come and Save me Lord! Your birth shows the depth of your love for me. Teach me to love you more. I choose to recommit myself today to be a Christian in love with you. Lord, help me to grow in wonder at your Incarnation this Christmas. Thank you for your Incarnation. I know it may be busy, but I also know it is very beautiful. It is beautiful because you are here, Lord. Thank you for being here this Christmas day. I want to love you as Mary and Joseph did. I want to bring your grace and glory to those around me.
God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters so many changes from yesterday to today we have even a white street, but most importantly: a Baby. This has to have a deep meaning for us. To our help comes our Mother The Church with special readings so that we can grasp the meaning of this beautiful EVENT that we are celebrating. What does the event of the birth of Jesus mean to us?
I will like to focus myself with the help of the Holy Spirit in two words: Night and Grace
When Christmas comes different feelings come to visit our hearts. Some are joyful because Christmas brings to mind beautiful memories that link to beautiful childhood, some want to pass Christmas as fast as they can and return to their “normal” life (work, studies, etc). They want to be BUSY and not to think of GOD too much… because it might bring to mind bad memories from childhood. Today I want to share with you two words. One from the context of what we are celebrating. When Jesus came it was NIGTH. Jesus came and had HIS birth at night. It was night in many ways. Night of the earth without the light of the sun, night of the sinner far away from the clarity of grace, far from being in state of grace, the night of sin that make of us prisoners of horrible prisons. Night of fear of the Roman Empire homicide, that tried to find glory at the prize of human flesh, murdering babies. Jesus comes into the night of ignorance. Jesus break all of that and bring joy to the shepherds, a joy that they were not expecting. The Glory of heaven visits the earth; an earth darkened wit sin. It wasn’t a bad idea for God that the splendor of His Son will bring light to a messed up world. Jesus come in the middle of the night. What is night in me, my family or my generation. What are the signs of light
that are out there in the night: Mary, Joseph, The shepherds, the star. Please lets stop cursing the night and Pay attention to the signs of light and thank God for His incarnation.
Now lets focus for a little while in the second reading we have today: it was taken from the book of Titus. And there is one word that I suggest we must underline from this reading. GRACE. This is an important word. If we go deep into the meaning of this word I assure you we are going to find abundant fruit in this celebration.
Grace is a very important word in the New Testament. It is a word that captures the essence of our faith. Grace comes from JARIS a word in Greek that is connected with JARISMA, origin of CHARISM. (Means gift)
We give and receive gifts in this time of the year, but grace is the attitude that moves you to give; impels you to give. It is a very profound feeling. Most of the time we are in the mood of receiving. Only once in a while we feel the impulse to give… specially when we are in love, when someone is important for us.
For example, parent feels compelled to give and to rejoice in the joy of a different person. That’s kind of a miracle. That kind attitude we can call it grace.
Another example. Someone won the grace of the King, or today we’ll say the grace of the president … The king or the president will do something special for that person because that person WON the favor of the king or president.
Today, brothers and sisters we all received a powerful and very beautiful message. That we , sinners as we are, we have won that special attitude from God… God is not retaining what is HIS (lets call it feeling; LOVE) for Himself. He is showing it up, He is telling us: you are so important for me that I want to have the most favorable attitude towards you. And as a prof that I love you so much, I have sent my only begotten Son in order to be with you, live with you, died for you and rise for you so that you can be saved. My Son will give you LIFE TO THE FULL, Life in the most positive and meaningful way.
That my brothers and sisters is what we have heard today: “The grace of God has appeared”, it is not hidden, has appeared in the face of this beautiful (adorable) BABY.
Brothers and sisters, this is the gift of gifts, this is the best possible gift anyone can receive: Jesus our Savior.