Celebrant: In Christmas joy and hope, let us present all our needs to God with confidence.
For the Holy Church of God throughout the world, that as she celebrates the birth of Christ, she may grow in holiness, we pray to the Lord…
For all those who do not yet believe in Christ, that they may know that today a Savior is born for them, we pray to the Lord…
For peace in the world, that nations may resolve their conflicts by giving themselves over the Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray to the Lord…
For those who are alone or abandoned, for the oppressed and the hungry, the homeless, and the unborn, we pray to the Lord…
For all the sick of our families and our parish, that they may join their sufferings to the sufferings of Christ, we pray to the Lord…
For all those who have died, that by the power of Christ's birth on earth, they may be born in heaven, we pray to the Lord…
Father, the birth of your Son renews our hope.
As you answer our prayers,
Give us grace always to bear witness to him
before the world,
For he is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
Messiah and Lord
At midnight Mass of Christmas, we hear the glorious announcement that a Savior has been born for us. From the beginning of time, prophets announced that the Messiah of the Lord would come. "Messiah," or "Christ" means "Anointed one." God anointed many people to carry out special missions for him.
On Christmas, this prophecy was fulfilled in a surprising way, because the angels did not simply announce that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord. They said the newborn child was Messiah AND Lord. God did not just send a Messiah. He came himself. This Child is the God who made us all. And by coming in this way, he joined every human life, born and unborn, to Himself. Christmas is, indeed, the feast of the dignity of every human life.
Acts 13:16-17, 22-25
Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25
Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14
Watch a video with homily hints
There was no room for them in the inn. This should make us wonder, because the birth of Christ was foreseen and planned by God from all eternity. Hundreds of years before it happened, the prophets announced he would be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) and that Bethlehem would be his birthplace (Micah 5:2). Many other details of his life and death were also foretold. How, then, could God have forgotten to make room for his only Son? Moreover, the child born at Christmas owns the inn, and Bethlehem, and the world, and the whole universe.
Obviously, God did this on purpose. There was no room in the inn, because this demonstrates that the child comes as a Savior, to reconcile a world that is at enmity with God and has rejected him. The lack of room in the inn symbolizes the lack of room we make for him in our hearts. Today he does not seek an inn; he seeks room in our own hearts and lives.
To welcome the Divine Child today is to welcome all that he will do and teach. We welcome the one who will preach the Sermon on the Mount, instruct us by parables, and establish his Church. In welcoming the baby in the manger, we welcome the Lord at the table giving the Eucharist, and we welcome the Lamb on the cross.
We welcome all he welcomes, and are to make room for all he loves, especially the most unwanted, marginalized, burdensome, or inconvenient. If we welcome the baby Jesus, we welcome every baby and we welcome his teaching that every life is sacred, and we live accordingly.