Theme of the Day: And the Word Became Flesh. The announcer of the Word could begin the presentation of the theme from the second reading that reminds us that God manifested himself in stages to the people of Israel. He can then pass on to the Gospel and stress how the incarnation of the Word has been the highest of all revelations of God. Christ reflects the splendour and fullness of the Father. The joy that stirred Jerusalem at the return of the deportees is the image of the joy of all people who today celebrate the beginning of a new world.
“All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah52:7-10)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Listen, your watchmen lift up their voice, together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 98:1.2-3ab.3cd-4.5-6 (R. 3cd)
R. All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. R/.
The Lord has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful love
and his truth for the house of Israel. R/.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R/.
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn,
raise a shout before the King, the Lord. R/.
“God has spoken to us by a Son.”
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-6)
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the ages. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. For to what angel did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you?” Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son?” And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
The word of the Lord.
Alleluia. A hallowed day has shone upon us: come, O nations, and adore the Lord; for today a great light has come down to earth. Alleluia.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The beginning of the holy Gospel according to John (John I: 1-18)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.*
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father.
(John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.”’) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
The Gospel of the Lord.
For some people Christmas is a day of rest as they are worn out by hectic preparations for the big day. Others spend Christmas day in extravagant merriment. Is that what Christmas all about? Surely we should rejoice and make merry at Christmas but we should never miss it real message. Any Christmas celebration that is not centered on the Emmanuel, God among us, has lost the sense of it. Mary who was surprised and confused treasured everything in her heart as she welcomed the Messiah. Notwithstanding the ups and downs of life we should always have hope that one day the Lord of fulfillment will come to our aid and light will overshadow darkness. Let us remain steadfast in good behaviour. Let us respond to the joy of Christmas by making sure that even after the celebration, our words, thoughts and actions will always demonstrate the fact that the Lord is within us.
Lord, give us the spirit of Christmas that the word made flesh, and dwelling among us, will always direct our thoughts, words and actions.