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News to be shared with all people: Christ is born!

Meditation at Midnight Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of The Lord

By Mgr Alban FSDM

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

‘Dominus dixit ad me: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te. Quare fremuerunt gentes: et populi meditati sunt inania?’

‘I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son,
today I have begotten you.
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?”’1

The Introit at the beginning of Mass is of ancient origin. Not just the music, be it Gregorian or the old Roman chant (as above) recently rediscovered, but the text itself. For it comes from Psalm 2. From the time of King David, the People of God were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Tonight, two thousand years ago, that coming came to pass. Not by the coming of a great king in a royal palace, but by the birth of a baby boy who was ‘wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn’.  We hear of the angels telling the ‘terrified’ shepherds about the baby born in Bethlehem who ‘is Christ the Lord’. 

The story is one with which we are all familiar, we have heard it for years, we may have taken part in Nativity Plays at school, or from childhood as we went to church. But, in the midst of this familiar story we have the opportunity to do something really quite special.

St Paul writes to Titus that

God’s grace has been revealed… we have to do everything that does not lead to God… and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. (Epistle)

No Room at the Inn. Part of the Nativity series by Tom Dubois

No Room at the Inn. Part of the Nativity series by Tom Dubois

The Gospel tells us of the Holy Family being rejected, facing a night with nowhere to lay their head, except the place where a manger is. The Son of God spent his first night on earth lying in the most lowly of places. Rejected even as He was born.

Rejection is not something that Christians should be doing. All too often, faithful Christians find themselves rejected by the institutional Church for many reasons. But this really ought not to happen. The baby boy that was born in Bethlehem was fully God, and fully man, He was to be tempted in the future, even in the garden before His arrest He was tempted. But he acted according to His conscience, He acted as God willed.

He really lived according to the words that He told His followers were the greatest commandments:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and  with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. and love your neighbour as yourself.

If we reject someone, are we abiding by these commandments? It seems to me, that we would not be.

Later today, some who have been rejected by their families will be gathering with me to celebrate Christmas together. We will make our Christmas a family Christmas, sharing the message of the angels, the ‘news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people… a Saviour has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord’. This is the real message of Christmas: not the presents, not the food, not the Church — and certainly not its manmade rules — but the birth of the Christ-Child. It is He that we are called to worship.

O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Note

1. Introit at Midnight Mass, Psalm 2.7, 1, Missal of 1962, and RSV (Catholic Edition).

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  1. […] News to be shared with all people: Christ is born! (fsdm.org.uk) […]

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