Almighty and invisible God, who dispersed the darkness of this world by the coming of your light, look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us, that we may acclaim with fitting praise the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you. .
“He who loves his brother abides in the light.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 Jn2:3-11)
Beloved: By this we may be sure that we know Jesus Christ, if we keep his commandments. He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but who— ever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm96:1-2a.2b-3.5b-6(R.11a)
R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
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.
It was the Lord who made the heavens.
In his presence are majesty and splendour,
strength and honour in his holy place. R.
ALLELUIA Luke 2:32
Alleluia. Alleluia. A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. Alleluia.
“A light for revelation to the Gentiles.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 2:22-35)
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”And his father and his mother marvelled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
St Paul noted that all things work together unto good for those who love God (Rom 8:28). If you really love God, then you certainly have nothing to be afraid of because it means that you have all that matters. To love is to keep all the commandments because God is love (1 Jn 4:16) and all commandments come from God, and so, since God is love, the commandments have love as their foundation (cf Mt 22:37-40). So if you want to know God, love; if you want to love God, begin by loving that person beside you. Let love then guide you in all things and you will experience the transforming presence of God in your life.