December 25, 2014 – Mass at Dawn

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Lectionary: 15

Reading 1 IS 62:11-12

See, the LORD proclaims

to the ends of the earth:

say to daughter Zion,

your savior comes!

Daughter Zion is a reference to Jerusalem. And Isaiah is prophesying to Jerusalem the coming of the Savior.

Here is his reward with him,

his recompense before him.

There is a reference to the end times, when Jesus Christ will come in power to judge the living and the dead (Rev 22:12-15).

They shall be called the holy people,

the redeemed of the LORD,

and you shall be called “Frequented,”

a city that is not forsaken.

At that time, the elect of Christ will be gathered in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Responsorial Psalm PS 97:1, 6, 11-12

R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;

let the many isles be glad.

The heavens proclaim his justice,

and all peoples see his glory.

R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.

Light dawns for the just;

and gladness, for the upright of heart.

Be glad in the LORD, you just,

and give thanks to his holy name.

R. A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.

Alleluia! The King of Kings is born! Let all creation rejoice!

Reading 2 TI 3:4-7

Beloved:

When the kindness and generous love

of God our savior appeared,

not because of any righteous deeds we had done

but because of his mercy,

This, is what St. Paul is talking about when he says that it came about without all works. It being our justification through Christ. God, our Savior, took flesh and became man to save us from our sins. There is no work that any man could do to bring this about.

He saved us through the bath of rebirth

and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

whom he richly poured out on us

through Jesus Christ our savior,

so that we might be justified by his grace

and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

And this, is what St. Paul is talking about when he says that we are justified by grace. He is talking about the sacraments. Especially, in this verse where he mentions the “bath of rebirth”, which is a euphemism for “baptism”. When we present ourselves for baptism, we ask God for his grace out upon us. And we do so in a proper disposition of faith alone. There is nothing that we can do to wash our souls. God alone cleanses us of sin in the sacrament of baptism. It is his work

Alleluia LK 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to those

on whom his favor rests.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,

the shepherds said to one another,

“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem

to see this thing that has taken place,

which the Lord has made known to us.”

So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,

and the infant lying in the manger.

When they saw this,

they made known the message

that had been told them about this child.

All who heard it were amazed

by what had been told them by the shepherds.

And Mary kept all these things,

reflecting on them in her heart.

Then the shepherds returned,

glorifying and praising God

for all they had heard and seen,

just as it had been told to them.

God our Savior took upon himself our flesh. This is what the shepherds saw. This is what the shepherds announced to the world.

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