HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE – VIGIL MASS (DECEMBER 24TH, 2021)

HOMILY FOR CHRISTMAS EVE – VIGIL MASS (DECEMBER 24TH, 2021)

Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 88; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-25

 

Today’s gospel narrates the parentage of Jesus Christ, known as the genealogy of Jesus. Genealogy is an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms. For us, it may appear so boring going through this litany of names; but for a Jew genealogy was the most natural and most interesting way to begin the story of any man’s life. The reason for such interest in background was because the Jews place so much confidence on purity of lineage. So, if anyone has the slightest element of a foreign blood, such a person loses his right to be called a Jew and a member of the people of God. Thus, the genealogy of Jesus Christ was to demonstrate that Jesus was a complete Jew.

The genealogy of Jesus sets Jesus’ birth within the context of the history of Israel, highlighting two of Jesus’ ancestors—Abraham, the father of the Hebrew people, and David, the most important king in Israel. Thus, all the travails of the generations after Abraham and the crest and trough of the anointed – King David were all for manifestation of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Matthew in his systematic presentation of Christ’s parentage leaves us with three categories: The first category shows the royalty of kingship gained. The second category is concerned with the tragedy of freedom lost – the exile to Babylon which tells of the nation’s shame and tragedy. The third category shows the glory of liberty restored, it shows that Jesus is the light that has come to destroy darkness and it tells us that Jesus Christ restored our glory, Jesus Christ librated humanity from slavery, his birth marks the dawn of our peace, the realization of all the prophecies of old. As we celebrate Christmas let us be moved by his humble beginning and spread the light he brought to all facets of our lives.

Lastly, today’s narrative centres on Joseph rather than the actual birth. Joseph though traumatized because of Mary’s mysterious pregnancy found solace in the words of the Angel in a dream. Eventually, he aligned with the promptings of God. We too must learn to subject our comforts, plans and expectations to the Divine will. Like Joseph, let us move form doubt to certitude. God is the author of life! Learn to align and not sideline the Divine promptings, so that we can dine and shine with him forever. Amen.

LET US PRAY

O God, who gladden us year by year as we wait in hope for our redemption, grant that just as we joyfully welcome your Only Begotten Son as your Redeemer, we may also merit to face him confidently when he comes again as our judge. Who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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