Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mass at Midnight Year A, B, C


Mass at Midnight Year A, B, C
Readings: Is 9:1-6 Tt 2:11-14 Lk 2:1-14

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord". On a small mountain village, the pastor invited two children to play the parts of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary in the nativity story. The play was to take place after Midnight Mass. The scene was set to be in a cave behind the parish church. The original idea was to use a doll for the Baby Jesus, but the two children, Joe and Marie, searched for a real infant among the families in the parish. Since no parent wanted to give their baby, the two kids were so desperate, but never gave up. They end up praying to the Holy Family for help. The story comes to a climax when the Virgin Mary invisibly places the real Infant Jesus in Marie’s arms. No one in the village realizes what has happened, but a miracle of conversion takes place in the hearts of all present on that Christmas Night! As the Christmas Nativity play starts, parishioners are in tears with joy and so touched. Before that Christmas night, the kids just like the adults in the village had been mean to each other, with lots of fights in their homes and at school. That night all that changed. The kids who had been mean to each other become great friends and kind to each other. They changed because the Baby Jesus was not just a story, but real and born in their hearts that night. They had been disobedient and rude to their parents, but that night they felt so loved that they promised to be nice to their parents and to each other. The presence of the Baby Jesus had changed them all as they watched the Nativity play. They were changed because they realized that Christmas was not just about getting Christmas presents, but about Jesus being born in their hearts and the hearts of everyone.

The birth of the new child –the Son of God, born of Mary, miraculously transforms our darkness into light; our human brokenness into communion with God and with each other. Like the story on that mountain village parish, the event of the nativity transforms us miraculously into joyful sharing community. Christmas reconciles us with God who is no longer God up there, but God-with-us, Emmanuel. The miracle of Christmas is about God finally finding room in the inn, in our hearts where Jesus can be born; it is about opening our hearts so that Jesus can fill them with his life, peace and joy. Christmas is about being like the shepherds who open their hearts to the Good News proclaimed by the angel, and going with haste to share that good news. So what message do we take home this Christmas? 1) Like the shepherds, let us go to Bethlehem and see what has happened according to message of the Angel, who brings news of great joy. "Today a Savior has been born" to us. 2) Before the Nativity Scene, may we meditate with Mary and Joseph on the mystery of God’s presence, and express our joy in the words of the Angel: "Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace to people who enjoy his favor". 3) Christmas is about making room for Christ in our hearts; making room for all people into our lives, especially the less fortunate. 4) As we make room for Christ in our hearts, may Christ bring us great joy, peace and true happiness. Tonight dear friends, in order to be truly happy and joyful in this world, our happiness must be centered on the Nativity Scene of Bethlehem, in Christ Jesus. May this Christmas bring us true happiness, joy and peace. I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012.

©2011 John S. Mbinda

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