Posted by: frburke23 | December 24, 2016

Thought for Christmas Day

Thought for Christmas Day
JOHN 1:1-5, 9-14
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
Merry Christmas to you and your families! This is a time to rejoice in the love that God has for us. Throughout the Old Testament God reached out to His people in love through His prophets. Many of them were killed and many were ignored. So God sent His only Son into the world to save us, trusting that we would certainly listen to Him. Of course, Jesus was killed and many of us still ignore Him.
But this is a day to marvel at the incredible love God the Father has for us. He was willing to give us Jesus. And He was born to us as a humble child in a manger in a town named Bethlehem. Bethlehem means “house of bread”. So Jesus, the Bread of Life, was born in a feeding trough in a town called the “house of bread”. Jesus showed us His intent, to give His life as a ransom for many. He was born as a helpless child and eventually gave His life selflessly on the cross. He showed us how to live and how to die.
So what should this day mean to us?
1) Make Jesus the focus of our lives and not the material things that dominate Christmas. This life is not about us or about any of the material things that we try to possess. This life is about Jesus and sacrificial love. It is a preparation for eternal life. Does my life reflect that Jesus is at the center? The shepherds brought gifts to Jesus. What gifts can I return to the Lord that He has already given me?
2) Try to grow in humility every day. God became a little child for our sake. He placed Himself into our hands literally. In a similar way, He comes to us in the Eucharist and places Himself in our hands or on our tongues. How do I humble myself each day as Jesus did for me?
3) Try to love sacrificially. Our God showed us what love looks like in Jesus. How do I lay down my life, my desires, my wants in order to serve God and others?
4) Go to Mass as often as possible. Many of us have become spiritual but we don’t do to church. Jesus wants to give us Himself in the Eucharist to feed our soul. Take advantage of this amazing gift at Mass as often as possible. We hear the Word of God proclaimed and received the Bread of Life. What can be more beautiful than that?
5) Take time to praise and adore Jesus daily. The joy of the Gospel comes to us when we develop our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is never boring to have a relationship with the Lord. What can I practically do in this next year to deepen my friendship with Jesus?
6) I was talking to a great friend today and he said that he is preparing a manger in his heart for the Christ child. We can do this by living pure and chaste lives. By growing in holiness each day, our hearts can become the manger into which Jesus can be born anew. Just as God created Mary as the perfect tabernacle to bring Jesus into the world, the Father wants us to be holy vessels that bring Christ into a darkened world as well.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Fr. Burke

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