It’s All About Love
In this beautiful homily for Midnight Mass for Christmas, Year B, Father Hanly reveals the secret of Christmas.
Readings for The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) – Mass During the Night, Year B
- First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13
- Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
- Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
The first words from the Readings of tonight’s Mass at Midnight are from Isaiah the Prophet — most dramatic and very apt:
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom
a light has shone.
For Christians this prophesy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
In the Gospel reading tonight we have the most extraordinary and beautiful description of the Birth of the Saviour.
He was not born in a palace of great grandeur but in a humble stable for animals. Jesus was wrapped in a common cloth and placed in a manger for his bed. He was welcomed into the world by the poorest of shepherds guarding their sheep at night, they themselves being social outcasts.
And Mary’s reception? There was in the inn no room for Mary to give birth to her son.
This is hardly the treatment expected for the Birth of the Christ Child. And yet, if the truth be told, it is all too often the way we treat each other. When you think about it — trying to give meaning to it all — our wonder gives way to shame, and it all becomes too painful for us to grasp.
And yet when we look at the crib on Christmas day, everything becomes clear, and true, and lovely.
God who dwells in inaccessible light, suddenly appears as a weak and helpless infant, hungry to become one of us, to take on flesh and share our humanity.
And we wonder how could the Father allow such treatment of His Son?
The answer is in the message of Christmas. It’s all about love, God’s weakness is His love for us.
The Child has come not only to love us, but more important to teach us how to love, not in loving him but how to love each other.
When asked about the secrets of life and of love, Jesus answers: “Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul, and love one another just as I am always loving you.”