Gospel: (Luke 2:15-20)
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
The angels told the shepherds that the Messiah was born and where to find him. How and when are we told? God reveals divine presence in the smile of another, in someone’s generous offer, in a plea for help, in the cry of the poor and oppressed, in the child needing reassurance, in the aged needing a listening heart, in the sick needing a consoling hand. This is how we make “known the message”: to reach out to another with God’s compassion, mercy, forgiveness, healing love. The mystery of Christmas is that God is incarnate. Today we see not a Baby in a manger, but a saving God working through and among us. This is what we make known. (Living Liturgy, p.24)
The only gift we can offer our newborn Saviour is our hearts within which lie our wills. Aligning our wills ever more closely with his will, at all times and in all circumstances, is the only gift we can offer our Savior on Christmas day and every other day throughout the year. In the words of Cardinal Newman: “May each Christmas as it comes find us more and more like him who at this time became a little child for our sake, more humble, more holy, more happy and more full of God. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.675)
Discussion: (Share thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How have we “made known the message” of God’s love this Christmas?
On this day, joy was reborn into the world,
-may we share the joy of Christ with everyone.
On this day, hope was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the hope of Christ to those most in need.
On this day, love was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the love of Christ to others in compassion,
On this day, peace was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the peace of Christ to our family and our world.