FIRST READING
“A son is given to us.
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 9:2-7)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm96 : 1-2a.2b-3.11-12.13 (R. cf. Luke 2:11)
R/. To us is born this day a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.

O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name. R/.

Proclaim his salvation day by day.
Tell among the nations his glory,
And his wonders among all the peoples. R/.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad;
let the sea and all within it thunder praise.
Let the land and all it bears rejoice. R/.

Then will all the trees of the wood shout for joy,
at the presence of the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice;
He will govern the peoples with his truth. R/.

SECOND READING
“The grace of God has appeared for all men. ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to Titus (Titus 2: l 1-14)

Beloved: The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

The word of the Lord

ALLELUIA Luke 2:10-11
Alleluia. I bring you good news of a great joy: to us is born this day a Saviour, Christ the Lord. Alleluia

GOSPEL
“To us is born this day a Saviour.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke ( Luke 2:1-14)

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

The Gospel of the Lord

TODAY’S REFLECTION
We need to walk through the valley of darkness before we can appreciate the gift and beauty of the light. In the darkness of pain and suffering, we wait for the light of good health. In the darkness of unemployment, we wait for the light of a good job. In the darkness of misery and poverty we wait for the light of food, water and shelter. In the darkness of selfishness and greed we wait for the light of love, compassion, and generosity. In the darkness of addiction, we wait for the light of recovery. Jesus is the incarnate light of God who comes to all who live in the darkness of deprivation, alienation, brokenness and suffering. At Christmas our lives are reawakened to the many ways in which Jesus lights our way, leading us out of our darkness to a place of peace.

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