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With Abundant Joy and Great Rejoicing

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.  These are the words spoken by the Prophet Isaiah in the first reading for Christmas Mass During the Night.  Today we can truly know abundant joy and great rejoicing for as Isaiah also writes, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.

Jesus is the light that now shines upon us.  We live in a world that is not perfect.  Good things happen but unfortunately bad things also happen.  When we experience the bad, we can feel like we live in darkness, a land of gloom but today we have hope.

What gives us hope?  In the second reading for Christmas Mass During the Night, Paul writes to Titus, the Grace of God has appeared.  Today we celebrate the day when the Grace of God was truly made visible for today is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus announced to the shepherds by an angel in the gospel reading for Christmas Mass During the Night, For today in the city of David, a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.

And so we have hope.

We have hope because we have a God who loves us so much as to send His Son into the world to save us.  This salvation is open to all.  Jesus, as king, was not born in a palace in the presence of greatness.  Jesus was born in humble surroundings, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  Who was invited to see the baby Jesus?  Not great royalty but shepherds so all might know that Jesus comes not just for the rich and the powerful but for all.  Thus Jesus gives us hope.  Jesus is the light that shows us the way to the Father.

People have been waiting for Christmas in anticipation of the presents they will receive, wondering if they will get the gift they really want.  Today God gives us the greatest gift ever, a gift beyond imagination.  Today we receive the gift of Jesus.  May we have abundant joy and great rejoicing from the hope and love we receive in the gift of Jesus.

Merry Christmas.

Fr. Jeff

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