Monday 3 November 2014

Christmas Day - Mass During the Day

Many of us like to receive presents. When we receive a present, we become quite excited and can't wait for the earliest opportunity to open the present. Sometimes the present comes with instructions not to open it until a certain date, time or event occurs. When this is the case, some of us may become quite curious and tempted to try and find ways and means to take a peek. However, when we finally get the chance to open the present, what happens? Some of us may be quite happy since we have gotten what we wanted. Some of us may feel disappointed because we did not quite get what we wanted. But if we step aside for a while and ponder... what we are getting here are things which are temporary and won't last forever. But today, we are offered a present which is the greatest present of all. What present is this? It is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

God loves all of us so much that he gave us His own Son Jesus as a present to save us from our sins and to guide us to Him. Could we ever find a present greater than or more valuable or more special than Jesus? Surely not! But, like every present that we receive, we are free to choose to accept it or to reject it. If we choose to reject this special present, then as today's Gospel tells us: "He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him." It seems strange or tragic that people would choose to reject Jesus, but there are times where such people have become so engulfed with the ways of the world, with power, with money, with position and power, and with so many other things, that Jesus and ultimately God has no place in their hearts and minds. When we put other things or persons first in our lives, then we are rejecting Jesus, the Word of God.

But if we accept this special present, then as the Gospel tells us: "But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself." If we are willing and prepared to open and accept this special present, then we will share in Jesus' glory and our lives will be transformed. We will no longer be orphans or strangers but become children of God. We will have the privilege to hear God speaking to us through His Son, as St. Paul tells us in the second reading: "At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is."

Let us open our hearts and minds, and accept Jesus as the greatest gift of all. Let us let Jesus be in control and guide us throughout our lives. If we truly value and appreciate this special gift from God, then we do not need or want anything else. Let us consistently and happily accept this gift of Jesus this Christmas and every Christmas.

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