Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord
Midnight Mass Homily
Something strange has happened.
A virgin gives birth yet retains her virginity.
A mother bears a child before she is in labor.
A woman delivers a son but suffers no birth pangs.
A child is born, but no blood is shed.
A son begins his life yet has no earthly father.
Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
God, who has no beginning, is born of a human mother.
Him, whom the whole cosmos cannot contain, comes forth from his mother’s womb.
The Word through whom all things were made make Himself one of His own creatures.
God becomes one of us.
To suffer our pains
To be tempted like we are
To experience our sorrows
To feel our hurts
To endure our weakness
To die our death.
He takes on our every weakness, He is vulnerable like we are
In order to exchange our death for His life
In order to swap our sickness for His healing
In order to trade our apathy for His love.
So, the holy child is born—something strange indeed.
The Son of God is human—remarkable, earth-shattering, and strange.
And this is all for you. For your good.
To relieve you in your distress
To comfort you in your anxiety
To aid you in your hardship
To console you in your fear
To gladden you in your misery
To encourage you in your time of need
To forgive your secret sins; and
To save you from yourself and everything that threatens you.
For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, the grace of God—God Himself—in flesh like yours, like mine.
The grace that is God appears as a child to rescue us from ourselves by being the rescue we don’t even think we need.
This God of all grace settles down and lives not just among us, but in skin and bones like ours, so that He might both experience what we go through and, even better, bring us closer, into a most intimate union, with Himself and His Father in the Holy Spirit.
And so the God of all grace—the Ideal Man, the Human we were designed to be—He is born to invite you to sit with Him in heavenly places.
material beings sitting in the immaterial heaven
souls encased in flesh sitting with, and above, the bodiless spirits
lives that can choose to love now being chosen to reside in Love Himself.
Christ is born so that you can share in His eternal glory.
Christ is born so that you may live as God.
For even though we die, because of His birth we get to be sons of the Most Highest
Born as He was—by an act of love and grace
Born as He was—by the will of the Father
Born as He was—into life everlasting.
And so, Christ is born, in order to restore, establish, perfect, strengthen and settle you.
And Christ is born, so that you might live for higher things
For the blessed hope
To see, with your eyes, God Himself
And to live in a love that exceeds your imagination
And so, God is born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem us who are slaves to the law of sin and death.
This is a strange thing indeed.
And it is a miracle greater than medicines, or even resuscitation from the dead, or anything else that we think is so great.
This is the miracle of God breaking into our world,
Not to break us, but to restore us
Not to punish us, but to shower us with His kindness
Not to threaten us or guilt us, but to love us into Himself.
Rejoice, then. For Christ is born!
Not just then, but also now.
Not just for them, but for you.
Not just in that place, but here on this altar, so that He might be born also in your heart.
So let us all rejoice with the angels, glorifying God.
For God has done what we could never have thought to do.
And with the birth of His Son, He has bent the laws of nature to our advantage.
Rejoice then, all who have been justified freely by grace.
It is the birthday of the just one!
Rejoice, all who were weak and sick.
It is the birthday of the Savior, the Healer!
Rejoice, all who are captive to their own ungodly desires.
It is the birthday of the Redeemer who makes your way of escape!
Rejoice, all who are enslaved to fear and anxiety.
It is he birthday of the One who comforts and settles you!
Rejoice, all who are freed from sin and fear.
It is the birthday of the One who set you free!
Rejoice, all who are weighed down.
It is the birthday of the One who bears and carries and takes away your burdens.
Rejoice, all who are confused about your place in life.
It is the birthday of the Beloved Son who invites you to live in and through Him!
Rejoice, all who feel worthless and unloved.
It is the birthday of the One who, in baptism, sets you as the Beloved of the Father who takes pleasure in you as you are.
Rejoice, all who suffer in hardship or distress.
It is the birthday of the One who born to relieve and revive you!
Rejoice, every Christian.
It is the birthday of Christ!