CHRISTMAS EVE An Old story – with New Hope





An Old story – with New Hope




The coming of Jesus is the fulfilling of the prophet Isaiah: ‘The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light’; Jesus himself said: ‘I am the light of the world’.  Christmas is the celebration of this light – as we rejoice at the mystery of God making such a humble entranceinto our broken world. We are moved by Gods capacity to surprise us with love.  “God had made the choice to break the silence of ages, to give himself away in a Word.  The most important Word that God has ever spoken took flesh in the womb of a young maiden and like all fresh was born as a fragile bundle of new life”. (D McBride).God’s hope, God’s mystery was centred in this child. Even though we hear the same Christmas story year after year, we know that it is not the same for we have changed, our memories have grown, our hopes have been testedand our love has been called on in new ways.  No matter what journey we have travelled we come to the crib believing that it speaks of new birth and the possibility of our rebirth.


We stand at the crib and find ourselves reaching out to claim, once again, the spirit of childhood. As we stand gazing at this little child, we long to know again – even briefly – the whistling, wondering, bright-eyed spirit of childhood. To know again what it is like to run and laugh, to wonder, to trust, to be playful, carefree – to enjoy again the original bliss of innocence and joy filled freedom.   This is the gift of Christmas – to ponder the glorious love of God enfleshed in human nature; to enjoy the wonder of childhood.


The invitation is to come and worship, to see for ourselves the fragility of God, the littleness of the mighty one the sheer tenderness of a love that is offered to all peoples.  Returning to the crib each year is a gift to experience once again the adventure of faith; to embark on the new journey that God has opened to us; to accept a new way of relating to each other, because this child becomes for all of us the Way, the Truth and the Light. Here at the crib we realize and experience again that we are one with everyone.  Christ turns a foreigner into a neighbour, a stranger into a brother or sister.  Here we feel the desire to reach out to others.  Christmas takes us out of our narrow world and are put in touch with our common humanity with our shared fears and hopes.

In this moment of honouring the birth of Christ we rediscover our roots in the gift of Jesus

Lord Jesus, born this day in Bethlehem and in our hearts, bless us with all the joy of this day of days.  Amen and again Amen. 


 Sr Sylvia OP

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