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Homily for Christmas day

23 Dec 2016, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Sermons

Christmas-Crib-SceneIn my homily a week ago, I emphasized Isaiah’s prophecies, how he prophesized that a maiden is with a child and will soon give birth. The pregnant maiden was a sign of hope to King Ahaz and Judah’s entire kingdom, a call to be fearless and to trust in God. The birth of the child is the dawn of our salvation, the fulfillment of the promise God made to our fathers.

Today we celebrate the birth of that Child; we celebrate our hope in God. At Christmas, we commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; it is a feast that reminds us of the great love of the Father. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…”(Jn.3:16). The Son of God entered the world in a very gentle and silent way to accomplish a mighty work; to rebuild a broken world and reconcile man to God. Through sin, a man destroyed the beautiful world created by God. In the very beginning, God made man and put him in a beautiful garden, but he allowed the power of temptation and sin to destroy the great plans of God for him. Since then, sin entered the world, and the wages of sin are death. God would not let the power of death have the last word, so, in Gen. 3:15, God promised that the Son of a woman would crush the head of the tempter. The prophets of old all talked about this Son of a woman; a virgin will conceive and bear a Son. Today we celebrate the birth of that Son, the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to restore the lost dignity and freedom of man. We all lost our dignities as sons and daughters of God through sin, but the birth of Christ reassures us of God’s love and mercy. God loves us, and he sent his Son into the world to set us free from the power of sin.

The Angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Son of God, he said to the shepherds; be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Lk.2:10-11). The Son that is born to us today is good news and a source of Joy. But the question in so many hearts today is; where is this joy? All we see around us today is violence, destruction, hatred, and all forms of evil. People are slaughtered right inside the Church as they come together to celebrate the Prince of peace’s birth. We keep asking, what is going on in our world? Where is the peace of Christ? The Christian faith is shaken in so many people due to what seems to be the silence of Heaven in the midst of challenges; many wonders why the same Heaven that sounded “Glory to God and peace to men of goodwill” is now silent. But the truth remains that God is not silent, he says this morning through the prophet Isaiah that “About Zion, I will not b silent, about Jerusalem I will not grow weary until her integrity shines out like the dawn and her salvation flames like the touch.”  You are the Zion; we are the Zion about whom God will not be silent nor grow weary until we shine out like a touch. My dear people of God, Heaven is not silent; in all the pains and challenges of life, we are conquerors. The world will challenge us; they will fight us, they would want to take from us the peace and joy we have in God. But no matter what comes our way, we must learn to say, “my redeemer lives.”

Let us, with great joy, celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, he will not be born again, but he can be born again in our lives if we let him. Let us on this day renew our commitments to follow him no matter what happens and be conscious of the fact that he is coming as a judge to judge the living and the dead. Let us, therefore, be truly reconciled to God and to one another; let us treasure the word of God in our hearts as Mary did, and let’s carry the “child” in our hearts.