Christmas Homily 2021
Tonight/Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord. Our God has come in the flesh. The One who holds all things in the palm of his hand has placed himself in our hands. Our God who breathes life into all living beings has now breathed air like us. The One who sets the stars in motion now has looked up at them like the rest of us. Our God is one with us that we might become one with him. He has become human so that we might become divine.
And his coming as a child has inaugurated this process. He has revealed his divinity, he has revealed his desire to make us his brothers and sisters, through his coming as a child. This is how he will save us. This is how he will make us like him.
The smallness of a child, the vulnerability of a child, the openness of a child, the unconditional love of a child: none of this is a lie. All of this is true. Christ will keep these characteristics forever. These are God’s promises that we can rely on. All the characteristics we see in him in the manger, we also see on the Cross. We see this beautifully in our Church in our two statues of our Lady and her Child, at the beginning and at the end. Jesus has kept all this to the end; he has never deceived us and will never deceive us.
He has placed himself completely in our hands, even to death, death on a Cross. At no time does he rescind the gift he makes of himself. At no time does he leave us, even if we reject him. The truth of the child remains the truth of the adult. And reveals the truth of God. We are completely safe in his hands, even if he is not safe in ours.
And this is how he will transform us. He will come to us in small moments. He will come to us through our needs, and those of our neighbours. He will call to us tenderly, wait on us, desire our openness through manifesting his own. Through the call that the vulnerable make on us, through the honesty in admitting our own vulnerability, our own frailty, even our own sins: Jesus will enter into our lives, and give us healing, and, more than this, will transform us into his likeness through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
He asks us for what he himself has given us. He never makes us go further than he has already gone. He has gone ahead of us in everything, even death, and waits for us to accept his invitation and follow. Yet, even in this offer of discipleship, he never leaves us.
Jesus’s first coming is the promise of his second coming. And the way of his first coming will be how he judges us at his second coming. Not only has he come to save us, he has given us time to be saved. He has revealed the Father’s divine plan for us – the way of truth and of life, his desire to seek out the lost and the sinner.
All those who struggle, all those who hurt, all those who are alienated: all these rejoice at his coming, knowing that the kingdom of God is at hand. Victory is theirs. And all of us have been given the opportunity to repent and amend our ways. We have been let into God’s offer of salvation, let into God’s love. We have all been given the opportunity to accept God’s offer of love by offering ourselves in return.
And so tonight/today, let us rejoice. For he who is love has come to find us. He who is love has made himself small to enter into our hearts. The one who made us, who fashioned the universe, desperately awaits our yes. He has revealed that God’s love is the reason for everything. It is the fire that runs through all things, the true light that illumines reality, the Word of God that calls us into true life.
And so in our Mass tonight/today, let us say Amen to this great invitation. Let us place our whole lives on the altar. Let us become like children, trusting completely in God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Let us place everything on the altar, all our desires, all our fears, all our victories, all our failings, all our relationships. Let us place everything on the altar and lay ourselves bare before our God, knowing that he has come in tenderness, come in love, and wants nothing more than to bring our creation to completion, such that the glory of God’s love will be revealed in each one of us, and Christ will be all in all.