Homily – Christmas Night 12/25/12

Homily – Christmas Night                    12/25/12

Tonight we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ into our world.

And during this Year of Faith, which our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has declared, we are reminded that the Night that the Christ is born is also the Night that the Faith is born.

For Faith is not a set of doctrines given to us to believe in. Faith is not a list of moral prohibitions of what we “shall” or “shall not” do.

Faith is not some blind assent to things that seem opposed to reason; neither is faith a sentimental or spiritual feeling or experience.

Faith is rather a Child, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying helpless on the hay, in that cold, dimly lit stable.

Faith is that Child, who comes into our world, not in strength, but in weakness; not in power, but defenseless; not forcing itself on us, but tugging at our heartstrings, drawing us by the bonds of love to take this Child, take this Faith, and protect, nurture and care for it.

Just as at that first Christmas, God entrusted this most precious, tiny and helpless baby Jesus to the safekeeping of Mary and Joseph;

So this Christmas, and each day, God entrusts the Faith to us, the members of His Church, to be kept safe in this cold dark world we live in; to be kept safe from the King Herod’s of the world, who see the Faith as a threat, who seek to keep the faith from growing, who even seek to destroy the faith.

The Child born this night is destined to be the King of Kings, the Light that all Good Shepherds and all wise men and women of Good Will shall walk by.

Tonight, however, he is but a helpless child, with only a poorly lit, cold, creaky and leaky stable – in other words, with only poor, dim witted, cold hearted, sinful people like us to shelter him and his Mother and St. Joseph.

But it is enough. He chooses to be born in us, because He truly loves us and wants to be Emmanuel, God with us.  He makes himself human for us, vulnerable for us, that we may know the way which leads to God, to peace, to life.

May we open wide the doors of our stables, and shelter this Holy Child, this Holy Faith, that is born into our world this Night to save us.

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