mapOur Location
Check on Maps
mapNext Service
7:30am & 9:00am

pope banner2

Dec 23, 2017 Written by  Rev. Fr. Paulino Twesigye Mondo

Christmas Midnight Mass 2017 Be the first to comment!

Jesusstable

Theme: Today a Saviour has been born to you

Christmas is finally here. All four weeks of Advent we have been waiting and praying for the coming blessings of Christmas. And now Christmas is here. Today the angels are bringing us the good news of great joy for all the people, for to us is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. This good news of great joy is for all the people of God. As people of God we have a claim to the joy and the peace that the birth of Christ brings to the world. But how do I personally enter into this ‘great joy’ of Christmas? Christmas rings out ‘joy to the world’, yes, but how do I make this joy my own? This is the question at hand. Even though God has declared joy to the whole world, there are still many among us who do not know how to claim and make it their own.

First reading: Isaiah 9:1-6

Some seven hundred years before Christ, the northern kingdom of Israel met with battle, defeat and slavery. Prophet Isaiah brought the good news that God would reverse all this and bring light and joy instead of misery. The survivors would rejoice as if they were sharing harvest of spoils. In particular he focused hopes on a future king. This king would combine all virtues of the past Israel’s rulers. They were too good to be true until embodied in Jesus Christ whose birth we are commemorating today. In our country today I can honestly assert that like in times of Prophet Isaiah we are a nation that is walking in darkness that now wants to see the light. What light? The light of faith in Jesus Christ who alone possesses exceptional qualities. He is Wise more than King Solomon; He is a Wonder Councellor and a Prince of Peace. He alone establishes Justice and Integrity. He is valiant like David. He is a brave warrior against evil and sin. He is always a loving God to His people. He alone is able to break the yoke that burdens us. He is neither violent nor cruel. Before him all the war gear is destroyed. Christ is the beginning of a new era, an era of peace, of justice, of brotherliness. If we honestly collaborate with this gospel, then peace will prevail.

Second reading: Titus 2:11-14

This second reading gives us a convenient summery of Christian faith. God’s grace personified in Christ has come into the world; it is not a matter of future expectation as for Isaiah’s generation. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, a new people has been created, freed from sin and wickedness of the past. All that is remaining is the coming of Christ as God and Saviour who in fact has already come. Christ as God and Saviour possesses both virtues of ruler and God. As saviour he meets all the expectations of Gentiles who looked for salvation from all situations. However, this reading is a strong reminder that not all has been accomplished; and much more remains to be done. Salvation for all human persons has not yet been manifested. We still need to make our lives an act of faith, love and hope.

Gospel: Luke 2:1-14

Luke writes of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, the visit of the shepherds, and the song of the angels. He links all these with world events by introducing Caesar Augustus the emperor who prided himself on bringing peace to the world. The story of Jesus begins with a journey to Judea because of a census. The Romans who would later be responsible for his crucifixion, caused him to be born in David’s city of Bethlehem because of the forced census. Jesus turns inconveniences into blessings. Remember David had been punished for holding a census in 2 Samuel 24 but now it is because of the census that Jesus is born in the City of David. The child Jesus was born in a manger, the place where the animals fed, a reminder to us from prophet Isaiah that the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib, while Israel did not know the Lord cf. Isaiah 1:3. During the time of Tsunami in Indonesia a few years ago, animals sensed trouble and escaped while human persons perished in their sleep, eating and drinking.  Is it different in our time? According to Luke no authorities of Israel but shepherds visited the crib.

Some elite were convinced that shepherds were among those members of an unclean profession whose dishonesty was taken for granted. Three characters would never give witness in court of law: the shepherd, tax collector and a prostitute. All the same, they became the fore runners of so many marginalized individuals who flocked to Jesus during his ministry. The best known is Levi the tax collector and sinners that sought out his company.

With their music, the angels transferred their music from heaven to earth cf. Revelation 4:9. Their words were repeated by the disciples when they entered Jerusalem, thanking God for all the wonders they had witnessed during their time with Jesus. The angels’ message to the shepherds was the message of the first preachers of the gospel: Jesus the saviour, Christ the Lord born today. The shepherds did not close their hearts but like Zacchaeus the ‘smart cheat through tax collection’ accepted the day of Salvation.

Fellow citizens; even if the news of great joy which God showers on the world at Christmas is here; we still need to do something. We need to make a little effort. How do we do that? Well, that is rather easy to explain but pretty hard to practice, so I will explain. Look at the word JOY. You see that it is made up of three letters: first J, then O, and lastly Y. J stands for Jesus, O for Others, and Y for You. Joy therefore is: Jesus, Others, before You. To know joy in our lives we need to place Jesus first in everything. Secondly, we need to care for others before pleasing ourselves. That is the recipe for joy. That is how we can convert the Christmas ‘joy to the world’ into a personal ‘joy in my life’ always. As we listen to the Christmas story we would do well to pay attention to the various groups of people that are mentioned and see whether they try to please Jesus and others before themselves, or whether they seek their own interests first.

You will discover that those who practice J-O-Y are the ones who enjoy peace and that those who practice self first are always the unhappy and miserable ones. Here are a few examples.

On the negative side we have the innkeeper who turned Joseph and Mary out in the cold night while he enjoyed comfortably the warmth of the inn. There is also Herod who wanted above all his job security as king to the point that he was prepared to kill Jesus and others. These people never get to experience realistic joy of the good news. On the positive side are the shepherds who leave everything they own, their flock in the bush and go to adore Jesus. The magi, wise men from the East leave the security of their homeland making a long and dangerous journey to Bethlehem simply to worship the new-born Jesus and give him gifts. These are the ones who receive God’s favour and true peace of Christmas. Let us today resolve to follow their good example by always placing Jesus and others before self and then the joy of Christmas will always be ours.

I conclude this sharing by provoking some questions.  Do we really believe in the power of God to transform Ugandans from our own dramatic distress? With all the indifference surrounding us do we feel committed to work for peace? Fiends, the answer is deep in our hearts. As Jesus is born during the dark hours of Christmas night, let us allow the light of Christ guide us.

Application

We need Jesus the Counselor to challenge our status quo so that it can improve. We need to grow in honesty so that Jesus can save us from our indifference and useless comfort. Jesus is here to deal with our addictions, marginalization, imaginary fears and hopeless dreams. Jesus is inviting us not fear the unknown and to be a people on the move. Like daring magi, take a reap into an adventure of life discovery, there you will find God waiting for you ready to transform you forever. Genuine and lasting change is not for those who fear the unknown but for those willing to risk the now for a greater good. Let us make fall the giant of evil that is trapping us to live without the love of Jesus Christ the new born king.

 

88 Last modified on Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:16

Leave a comment

Like us on Facebook

Amoris1

Donate to Us

Amount Tooltip US $10.00
US $20.00
US $30.00
US $40.00
US $
Payment method

LAUDATOSIHighResCover300

Support this project

priesthouse

reflect

Comments

Sunday Masses

Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

Crowd possible, please don't be late! May God bless you!

About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

holy bible