Homily, December 25, 2016, Christmas

25-dec-jpg-1-jpg2-jpg3As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that Israel believed in the one true God, Yahweh, and for many generations waited for a savior who would restore Israel or so they thought as a free powerful people. Yet, history past and even now shows God has a way of doing and being Himself in his own way. If we recall, Israel had kings only because the people were jealous and wanted to be like other nations around them. Even so, God took lowly men like Saul and David and raised them, and even brought about the richness of Solomon’s reign. Through all the years, God was more faithful than Israel was. 25-decThe time of Jesus’ birth was a dark time for Israel who were captured and being ruled by the Romans. Certainly, they were permitted to continue to worship and continue their daily life, but only because they were submissive to the Romans. The leaders, the chief priest and scribes and pharisees remained relatively comfortable in their daily life.Their seemingly minor inconveniences were taxes and some Roman laws. It was this time God chose to enter history as a human being. He chose not the temple or the rich homes or the splendor of Jerusalem, but two humble God-fearing believing Jews, Mary and Joseph to be his welcome and guides to the world. His first lodging is related as a stable, not a home but a shelter for animals, and his first visitors were Shepherds from some fields nearby, not priests or anyone notables. Shepherds were seen to be untrustworthy, and not unlike tax collectors and prostitutes. Truly Jesus came 25-dec-jpg-1to the darkness to bring light to all starting where humanity most needed him.
Nothing has changed today, God is with us and he has come for all. He cares most for those who need him most, so what is important is that we not lose the love and need of his love and share it with those who need his love to dispel the darkness in their lives. Let us never forget that His life, death and resurrection has lifted all humanity if they can only find acceptance in their heart.

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