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
The wonder of Christmas is that the promised coming of the Messiah of the Lord was fulfilled in a surprising way that surpassed the hopes and dreams of the people of old. On the first Christmas night, angels announced Christ's birth to the shepherds. But instead of saying that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord, they said that He is "Messiah and Lord" (Lk. 2:11). God, in other words, did not simply send someone to represent Him. He came Himself!
Because the child born is Lord, Christmas means more than welcoming the child. It means welcoming the one who will preach the Sermon on the Mount, instruct us by parables, give us the sacraments, and establish his Church. All of these Christmas presents are to be opened and used!
Christmas is about a God who created the human family, and then decided to become a member of that family. Christmas is not when Jesus began; it is when Jesus began existing as one of us, and thereby joined all of us to Himself. He joins to His Divinity all who share human nature: the weak and strong, the small and big, the born and unborn.
Therefore, welcoming the child demands welcoming all whom this child came to redeem, all who are united to God in him. It means welcoming the poor and destitute, the stranger and the alienated, the disabled and the unborn. Christmas is universal, and is about the exaltation of the human person.