Sermon Given by Father Pancras Raja on December 25th, 2019
“Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy! …. for this day is born to you in the city of David a SAVIOUR, who is Christ the Lord!”
(Lk. 2: 1- 14)
May the Divine Child Jesus and his Divine Mother bless you and all your
children on this Holy Christmas day!
On this day of solemn celebration of the nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us approach the stable of Bethlehem and fall on our knees together with the shepherds to adore the Eternal Incarnate Wisdom – the Word of God made MAN!
Let us adore with humble acceptance the great mystery of Incarnation and receive the grace of Salvation!
Let us offer ourselves as a loving gift to the Child Jesus, with a heart and soul filled with sanctifying grace!
First Point: The great mystery of Incarnation!
The Eternal Wisdom – the WORD of God, when, in the beginning, had decided to become MAN – for the restoration of the fallen humanity, he made it known to our first parents, and then promised to the Patriarchs and revealed to the prophets – that he would become Man in order to redeem mankind!
Hence for 4000 years the people of Israel were begging God with their earnest prayers – for the coming of the promised Messiah! “Rorate Caeli de super …. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just; let the earth bud forth a Saviour” (Is. 45: 8). But their cries, prayers and sacrifices were of no sufficient merit to obtain this greatest of Graces – the great mystery of Incarnation of the Eternal Wisdom – the Son of God!
At last, when the Divine Wisdom wished to come down from the bosom of his Father in to the womb of a Virgin, God sent the Archangel Gabriel in order to announce that he wished to become her child by taking flesh in the Blessed Virgin Mary!
And how is it possible? The Angel answered and assured that she would remain a virgin while becoming a mother! This was the sign of the coming of the Messiah – foretold by Prophet Isaias: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son who will be Immanuel” (Is. 7: 14).
The most humble Mary, accepting the great mystery of Incarnation, believed it, and bowed before the Creator, and gave her ineffable “Fiat” – the consent to become the Mother of God saying: “Behold the hand maid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word!” (Lk. 1: 38)
At that very moment when the Divine Mary consented to become the Mother of God, several prodigies took place:
- The Holy Ghost formed a little body from the most pure and virgin blood of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
- The Father created a most perfect soul for this Child.
- The Son of God truly united himself to that body and soul – in unity of person – which is called the “Hypostatic Union” of the divine and human natures of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity.
This is the great mystery of heaven and earth, the prodigious excess of the love of God: “Et Verbum Caro factum Est” (Jn. 1: 14). We proclaim and adore this mystery by the genuflexions during Credo, the Angelus, and at the last gospel. Because by this great mystery the Word of God was made flesh! – the Eternal Wisdom became incarnate!! – and God became Man!!!
Bethlehem was the hometown of the blessed Virgin Mary. Yet no one was there to give place for her to give birth to the Saviour!
Now, the Holy Mary and the Blessed Joseph come to you – asking a place in your heat for the birth of Jesus. Are you ready to give room for the Most Holy Mary, that she may give birth to Jesus in your heart?
Yes, this great feast of “Christmas – Mystery” is a timely reminder for us to make our hearts free from all worldly amusements and sinful attachments and prepare a permanent manger in our heart for the birth of Jesus daily by way of Holy Communion! This is the significance of making cribs in the church and in our homes during the Christmas season.
Let us really believe and accept the divine mystery of incarnation, and in humble adoration like the shepherds of Bethlehem, prostrate before the infant Jesus in the hands of Mary – always in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, and in daily holy communion – without disappointing Holy Mary and Blessed Joseph by denying a place for Jesus in our hearts because of our unworthiness due to our sinful attachments and bad habits.
Second Point: The Grace of Salvation!
What does the Christmas celebration bring to us? Is it an earthly happiness of merry making? – No!
Jesus was born – not that we may drink and dance, eat and play and seek happiness in sinful amusements! No!
Jesus was born to save us! To save us from sin, save us from hell! That is why poverty and suffering has been intermingled in his birth! The story of the statue of St. Joseph, in whose arms the child Jesus sleeps happily embracing a golden cross – the symbol of our salvation!
Christmas is a time of gift giving. Tradition says it began when the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ when He was born.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST GIFT THAT WAS EVER GIVEN?
Of all the gifts that was ever given one stands out clearly as the absolute best gift given for all time. That was when God, our Creator, came to earth as a man, the Lord Jesus, and He sacrificed Himself for the sins of all the world that men might have eternal life and heaven.
This gift was desperately needed for mankind. (Rom. 5) Because sin and death came by Adam; and therefore, grace and life should come from Christ, the new Adam!
But God (in Genesis 3:15) promised what He would do for man that man could not do for himself, and promised He would send a Messiah, a Savior who would undo the work of Lucifer.
As Romans 5:15 states God’s gift was redemption from sin and death. Please note that redemption is stated as being a “gift”.
- God has a wonderful and eternal gift He offers to all. It is the most wonderful gift a man can obtain, and that gift is eternal life. That is the true Christmas message that God sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to pay our debt and then to offer us the gift of grace free to all who would believe and receive it.
- Receiving God’s gift of Salvation is receiving Jesus Christ into one’s life and living with Him! Any other kind of faith is false. (faith alone is not enough)
- It is Christmas time, a time to be thankful for the coming of the Savior and to share His coming with others!
First – Christmas season should be a time when all men examine their hearts and determine once for all if they have truly received Jesus as their Savior as the “Christmas Gift.”
Second – It is a time when those who are saved should share the greatest gift on earth… with those around us. That is the Christmas message proclaimed by the Angel: “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy! …. for this day is born to you in the city of David a SAVIOUR, who is Christ the Lord!”