December 25, 2016 — The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Mass during the day
IS 52: 7-10; PS 98: 1-6; HEB 1: 1-6; JN 1: 1-18
It is Christmas! Our Gospel reading on this festive holy day is the opening words of the Gospel of John. St. John says, “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him.” That is why we celebrate today. Pope Francis opened his sermon on Christmas day last year by saying this: “Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.”
At Mass on Christmas Eve we hear, “I proclaim to you good news of great joy; today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord.” It is this joy we need to feel, this joy we need to carry to others. Many have expressed the joy of today. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said this about Christmas: “Joy is the true gift of Christmas. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us… Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives.”
The angel Gabriel greeted our Blessed Mother Mary with the Greek word Kaire! That means “Be joyful.” God is near us today; He is so near that He became a child. Let us take that joy and share it with others; let us take that joy and change our lives and the lives of others. When we say “Merry Christmas” let us mean it with every fabric of our being.