Christmas Homily 2023

The Nativity of the Lord (Mass During the Night)
Isaiah 9:1-6
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14
December 25, 2023

We come today to celebrate something very special and we do so with “abundant joy and great rejoicing.” 

We come into church from a world with darkness and gloom.  How many shootings have there been this year?  How much senseless violence?  Terrorism continues.  The war between Ukraine and Russia continues.  Even in the Holy Land this Christmas we see war between Israel and Hamas.  There is much polarization and division.

These things weigh upon our hearts.  It casts darkness on the world.

Yet, there is a great light that can overcome the darkness.

There is much sin in the world but today we come with “abundant joy and great rejoicing” because one has come who can smash the yoke of sin and brings light to the darkness “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.

He has dominion.  Do we let him rule our lives?  Do we follow his ways?

He will be called “Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” 

We need a hero to rescue us from sin and darkness.

Today we celebrate the birth of a hero who can do just that.

His birth fulfills God’s promise of a Messiah and redeemer.  He was born in Bethlehem just as the prophecies foretold.  He is of the house of David just as God promised.  He was born of a virgin just as was prophesized.

However, the circumstances of his birth were not what one might expect for one destined to be a hero and save his people.

He was not born in a palace.  He wasn’t even born in his home.  His parents, Mary and Joseph had to travel because of the census.  He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger “because there was no room for them in the inn.

His name was Jesus.  It was God’s will that his Son would be born into our world in humble circumstances to be born and live like us.

He was laid in a manger.  A manger is a food trough for an animal.  Jesus is food for our souls.

The first to receive the “good news of great joy” of Jesus’ birth were not the rich and the powerful.  It was shepherds to whom the angel delivered the news, “For today in the city of David a savior has been for you who is Christ and Lord.

“The grace of God has appeared, saving all.

Jesus’ birth brings “abundant joy and great rejoicing.”  It is his death on the Cross that saves us.  Before his death He would train us “to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly.”

Devoutly – do we give God time in our lives, not just today, but every day?

Justly – do we live as Jesus has taught us or do we go our own way?

Temperately – are we greedy or do we live modestly like Jesus?

Jesus came to give himself “to deliver us from all lawlessness.”  He came to bring light to the darkness. 

God knows the darkness that is in our world.  He knows we live in gloom at times.  God is ready to change it all.  God wants to fill our hearts with peace and joy.

He wants to start by changing you.  Are you ready to let God change you? 

God stands ready to change the world.  He will do so one heart at a time.

Jesus came to rule the earth.  Are you willing to let him rule in your heart?

Jesus is “Prince of Peace.”  His peace is peace in our hearts.  The more people who accept Jesus in their hearts, the more peace there will be in the world.

Isaiah spoke of the son who was to be born as “God-Hero.”  If we call someone our hero, we follow the example they set for us.

Make Jesus your hero.  Follow him.


  1. MARY GILARDO on 12/27/2023 at 4:25 pm


    • Fr. Jeff on 12/27/2023 at 4:27 pm

      I hope people were listening.


      Fr. Jeff

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