Tagged: Nativity

December 25, 2014 – Christmas Mass during the Day

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Lectionary: 16
Reading 1 IS 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains

are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,

announcing peace, bearing good news,

announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,

“Your God is King!”

Hark! Your sentinels raise a cry,

together they shout for joy,

for they see directly, before their eyes,

the LORD restoring Zion.

Break out together in song,

O ruins of Jerusalem!

For the LORD comforts his people,

he redeems Jerusalem.

The LORD has bared his holy arm

in the sight of all the nations;

all the ends of the earth will behold

the salvation of our God.

Jesus Christ is the King of Kings. God has made himself visible to his people. He has come to save all who were lost.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6

R. (3c) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Sing to the LORD a new song,

for he has done wondrous deeds;

his right hand has won victory for him,

his holy arm.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

The LORD has made his salvation known:

in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness

toward the house of Israel.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

All the ends of the earth have seen

the salvation by our God.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;

break into song; sing praise.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,

with the harp and melodious song.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn

sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

The Catholic Church has taught the saving power of Jesus Christ throughout the world. It is by the faith of the saints who preceded us that the gospel has been preached to alter world. We owe them a great debt.

Reading 2 HEB 1:1-6

Brothers and sisters:

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways

to our ancestors through the prophets;

in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son,

whom he made heir of all things

and through whom he created the universe,

who is the refulgence of his glory,

the very imprint of his being,

and who sustains all things by his mighty word.

Christ is the image of God. He is God in the flesh.

When he had accomplished purification from sins,

When he had established the sacraments.  When he had established the sacraments.  When he had shed his blood upon the cross for the forgiveness of sins, he established the sacraments to which the grace which he released by his death upon the cross is applied to the faithful.

he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

as far superior to the angels

as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

And then he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

For to which of the angels did God ever say:

You are my son; this day I have begotten you?

Or again:

I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me?

And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world, he says:

Let all the angels of God worship him.

And he takes his place upon the throne at the right hand of the Father.   Let all creation worship him.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

A holy day has dawned upon us.

Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.

For today a great light has come upon the earth.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

Jesus is the Word. And from eternity he is at the right hand of the Father. Because Jesus is God, the second person of the holy Trinity.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing came to be.

What came to be through him was life,

All things were created through Christ. He is he in whom we live, move, and have our existence.

and this life was the light of the human race;

the light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not overcome it.

Christ is life. He gave us our human life. And extends to us the hope of eternal life.

A man named John was sent from God.

He came for testimony, to testify to the light,

so that all might believe through him.

He was not the light,

but came to testify to the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,

and the world came to be through him,

but the world did not know him.

He came to what was his own,

but his own people did not accept him.

St. John the Baptist announced into the world the coming of the Savior. But the world rejected their Savior.

But to those who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God,

to those who believe in his name,

who were born not by natural generation

nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision

but of God.

But some in the world, we ejected the world, and accepted Jesus Christ. These are they who were born again of the Spirit in the sacrament of baptism.

And the Word became flesh

and made his dwelling among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory as of the Father’s only Son,

full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,

“This was he of whom I said,

‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me

because he existed before me.’”

From his fullness we have all received,

grace in place of grace,

because while the law was given through Moses,

grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God.

The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,

has revealed him.

The law was given to Moses for our benefit. The sacraments were given to Jesus for our benefit. It is two sacraments there we receive the grace of eternal life.

 No need for further commentary on the alternate reading which follows.

Or JN 1:1-5, 9-14

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing came to be.

What came to be through him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race;

the light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,

and the world came to be through him,

but the world did not know him.

He came to what was his own,

but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God,

to those who believe in his name,

who were born not by natural generation

nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision

but of God.

And the Word became flesh

and made his dwelling among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory as of the Father’s only Son,

full of grace and truth.

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.

December 25, 2014 – Mass at Night, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Lectionary: 14

Reading 1 IS 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

This is a very deep verse which has many spiritual meanings. The people walked in darkness could be the misbehaving Jews which God had punished the time of Isaiah. It could also be sinners who have repented. Or it could be the Gentiles who had seen the son of God in the time of Jesus.

upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom

a light has shone.

Similarly, the land of gloom could be the land of the Gentiles where the Jews were punished and exiled.

You have brought them abundant joy

and great rejoicing,

as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,

as people make merry when dividing spoils.

The harvest could be a reference to the harvest at the end of time. When God will harvest the souls of the righteous. And destroy the souls of the wicked. Or, it could be a reference to the joy which people have when they harvest their crops.

For the yoke that burdened them,

the pole on their shoulder,

and the rod of their taskmaster

you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

The yoke which burdened them could be a reference to Satan’s oppression. Or it could be a reference to the Babylonians enslavement of the Jews where they were exiled by God.

For every boot that tramped in battle,

every cloak rolled in blood,

will be burned as fuel for flames.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us;

upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,

Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

His dominion is vast

and forever peaceful,

from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,

which he confirms and sustains

by judgment and justice,

both now and forever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

This of course, is a very famous prophecy of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 96: 1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13

R. (Lk 2:11) Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Sing to the LORD a new song;

sing to the LORD, all you lands.

Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Announce his salvation, day after day.

Tell his glory among the nations;

among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;

let the sea and what fills it resound;

let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!

Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;

for he comes to rule the earth.

He shall rule the world with justice

and the peoples with his constancy.

R. Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Joy to the world the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room. Joy to the world!

Reading 2 TI 2:11-14

Beloved:

The grace of God has appeared, saving all

and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires

and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

as we await the blessed hope,

the appearance of the glory of our great God

and savior Jesus Christ,

who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness

and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,

eager to do what is good.

This is probably the best summary of the Gospel. Jesus Christ did not die on the cross in order that we would continue to live in our same sinful ways. Jesus Christ died for all in order that those who live would turn to him who died for us.

Alleluia LK 2:10-11

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

I proclaim to you good news of great joy:

today a Savior is born for us,

Christ the Lord.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus

that the whole world should be enrolled.

This was the first enrollment,

when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth

to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,

because he was of the house and family of David,

to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there,

the time came for her to have her child,

and she gave birth to her firstborn son.

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,

because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields

and keeping the night watch over their flock.

The angel of the Lord appeared to them

and the glory of the Lord shone around them,

and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid;

for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy

that will be for all the people.

For today in the city of David

a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.

And this will be a sign for you:

you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes

and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,

praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

December 25, 2014 | Vigil Mass The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Lectionary: 13

The Vigil Mass is held on the night before Christmas.  It is the evening Mass celebrated on December 24th between 4pm  and midnight.

Reading 1 IS 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,

for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,

until her vindication shines forth like the dawn

and her victory like a burning torch.

Zion and Jerusalem are the same thing.  Zion stands for Mount Zion which is right outside of Jerusalem. Therefore, Isaiah is saying that he will speak out until Jerusalem is saved.

Nations shall behold your vindication,

and all the kings your glory;

you shall be called by a new name

pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.

The new name for Jerusalem is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the new Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ. The whole world has seen the Catholic Church because she is active in spreading the word of Christ throughout the world.

You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,

a royal diadem held by your God.

No more shall people call you “Forsaken,”

or your land “Desolate,”

but you shall be called “My Delight,”

and your land “Espoused.”

For the LORD delights in you

and makes your land his spouse.

As a young man marries a virgin,

your Builder shall marry you;

and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride

so shall your God rejoice in you.

I think it is more beautifully stated in

Ephesians chapter 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29

R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

I have made a covenant with my chosen one,

I have sworn to David my servant:

Forever will I confirm your posterity

and establish your throne for all generations.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;

in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.

At your name they rejoice all the day,

and through your justice they are exalted.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

He shall say of me, “You are my father,

my God, the rock, my savior.”

Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,

and my covenant with him stands firm.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

We are sons in the Son. We call God, “Abba, Father”. Therefore let us always sing the goodness of the Lord sent his only begotten son to sacrifice himself so we may be united to him.It’s

Reading 2 ACTS 13:16-17, 22-25

When Paul reached Antioch in Pisidia and entered the synagogue,

he stood up, motioned with his hand, and said,

“Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing, listen.

The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors

and exalted the people during their sojourn in the

land of Egypt.

With uplifted arm he led them out of it.

Then he removed Saul and raised up David as king;

of him he testified,

‘I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;

he will carry out my every wish.’

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,

has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.

John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance

to all the people of Israel;

and as John was completing his course, he would say,

‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.

Behold, one is coming after me;

I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’”

St. Paul recalled the salvation history of the Jews. He recalled the salvation of the Jews from the captivity of Egypt. And we called the time of Saul being replaced by David. And recalled the promise which God made to David. And then he recalled the coming of Christ, the son of David.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Tomorrow the wickedness of the earth will be destroyed:

the Savior of the world will reign over us.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 1:1-25

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,

the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.

Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,

whose mother was Tamar.

Perez became the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab.

Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon the father of Boaz,

whose mother was Rahab.

Boaz became the father of Obed,

whose mother was Ruth.

Obed became the father of Jesse,

Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,

whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.

Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

Abijah the father of Asaph.

Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,

Joram the father of Uzziah.

Uzziah became the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.

Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amos,

Amos the father of Josiah.

Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers

at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,

Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.

Abiud became the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

Azor the father of Zadok.

Zadok became the father of Achim,

Achim the father of Eliud,

Eliud the father of Eleazar.

Eleazar became the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.

Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations

from Abraham to David

is fourteen generations;

from David to the Babylonian exile,

fourteen generations;

from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,

fourteen generations.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.

When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,

but before they lived together,

she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.

Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,

yet unwilling to expose her to shame,

decided to divorce her quietly.

Such was his intention when, behold,

the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,

“Joseph, son of David,

do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit

that this child has been conceived in her.

She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,

because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill

what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”

When Joseph awoke,

he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him

and took his wife into his home.

He had no relations with her until she bore a son,

and he named him Jesus.

St. Joseph did not know how the Virgin Mary had become pregnant. So he had decided to divorce her quietly. But Angel of God came to him in a dream informed him that the child which would be born would be the son of God.

The alternate gospel is a subset of the first. No commentary necessary.

Or MT 1:18-25

Or MT 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.

When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,

but before they lived together,

she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.

Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,

yet unwilling to expose her to shame,

decided to divorce her quietly.

Such was his intention when, behold,

the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,

“Joseph, son of David,

do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit

that this child has been conceived in her.

She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,

because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill

what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”

When Joseph awoke,

he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him

and took his wife into his home.

He had no relations with her until she bore a son,

and he named him Jesus.