Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
December 25, 2014 – Year B
Readings: Is 9:1-6; Psalm 96; Ti 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
We are all here tonight to celebrate a birthday, a birthday that is not only being celebrated by the relatives and friends of birthday celebrant, but by millions of people throughout the world. It’s even celebrated by people who have no idea what we are really celebrating. This is the birthday of God’s greatest gift to us: His only Son – Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the light of the world. we call this birthday “Christmas.”
My dad, for many years, had difficulty thinking of a gift to give my mom. One time, he said to my uncle, “Whoever started this gift giving during Christmas, I’m going to kill him.” My uncle said, “I don’t think you can do that because God himself started this.” God gave his Son as his gift to us, to be our Savior, to be our Lord, to be the light of the world.
Bob Woods tells the story of a couple who took their 11yo son and 7yo daughter to Carlsbad Caverns in NM. When the tour reached the deepest point of the cavern, the guard and the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark and silent it is below the earth’s surface. The little girl, suddenly enveloped in utter darkness, was frightened and began to cry. Immediately, her brother said, “Don’t cry. Somebody here knows how to turn on the lights.” That was good enough for her.
When we find ourselves in total darkness, in trials and tribulations of this world, we should remember that the Lord Jesus can easily turn our darkness into light. In the first reading, as the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah, he said, “The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who dwell in the land of gloom, a light has shone.” There are still people living in the land of gloom in today’s day and age. We still suffer sickness and pain. Others still division,s quarrels and war, as in the time of Isaiah. If you want answers, just check out any of the news outlets.
We are not here to talk about the darkness in this world. We are here because we all believe that Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem 2014 years ago, has the power to overcome darkness.
Last year, during the month of May when the tornado sirens rang out in Moore, Oklahoma, the teachers at the AgapeLand Learning Center rushed their 15 students into the bathroom, which was the safest place in the building, and put a protective covering on the children. To keep them from panicking, they led the students in the song, “You Are My Sunshine.” This song became their prayer. The image of the children singing that song in the eye of the storm became one of the main talking points in Oklahoma tornadoes. Although the building was destroyed, not one of those singing children was hurt.
Pope Emeritus Benedict said, “Not only is Jesus the light of the world – He is the sun that never sets.” The good news is that he promised he would be with us always until the end of time. He will be there in the most difficult and darkest moments of our lives to give us strength and to give light to our path. As we all know and believe, he can easily do this 24/7 because he is the sun that never sets.