Christ is Born, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56725 [retrieved December 23, 2022]. Original source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/8305678703 – Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.
RCL Christmas Day I and II
Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 97, Titus 3:4-7, Saint Luke 2:1-20
Even on the bitterest night, the Lord extends a warm hand to each of us.
In the Name of the True and Living God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The English poet, Steve Turner, has written in free verse that
Christmas is really
for the children.
Especially for children
who like animals, stables,
stars and babies wrapped
in swaddling clothes.
Then there are wise men,
kings in fine robes,
humble shepherds and a
hint of rich perfume.
The wonder and the joy written on the face of children when receiving what they most want may tempt us to live Christmas through their eyes, their wonder, and their joy. But Christmas is God’s gift to all of us, regardless of our age or sophistication. If we have lost a touch of wonder, if child-like joy, spontaneous and overflowing, has slowed a bit, let us not overlook this gift from God, as we may overlook so many other gifts from God. May this part of us revive this Christmas.
Do not forget what the angel of the Lord declares to the shepherds, “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.”
There may be a bridge joining the charming old story, so wondrous and so powerful that even a child can get it, to the ripened longings and desires of those of us with later bedtimes. That bridge may be the very manger in which the child’s Blessed Mother lays him. Bear with me.
When Israel with full maturity disobeyed the Lord and began to pay the certain price for its disobedience; when Israel’s exile became abominable, even to the Lord, did not the Lord declare through his prophet Isaiah that he “will extend his hand…to recover…his people…and…assemble the outcasts of Israel…from the four corners of the earth”? In restoring Israel from exile, God gave them a gift they could hardly overlook.
And similarly, when we in our adulthood strayed from the ways of the Lord, did we not sense our own exile, our own alienation and estrangement from ourselves and from God? And then, when we were most in need, did we not look and find that the wood of the Savior’s manger had become the wood of the Savior’s cross, supporting him again, while he voluntarily assumed our rightful place, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves?
The Savior gives us what we need and gives it to us when we can understand it. Children understand Luke 2, and they may even understand that Christmas is for them. But we, watching their delight and joy, know also that the Savior has something for us as well. Saint John the Divine saw our Christmas gift in his Revelation when he saw, “the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven” and when he heard, “the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more.”
 Steve Turner, “Christmas Is Really For the Children,” at https://liturgy.co.nz/church-year/christmas-children.
 Saint Luke 2:10.
 Isaiah 11:11-12.
 Revelation 21:2.
 Revelation 21 3-4.