Life Does Not Die

Life Does Not Die

Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

First of all, allow me to wish each and everyone a truly holy Christmas, one at the centre of which the Son of God Incarnate reigns supreme. Secondly, allow me to express to all the friends of our community our profound gratitude for so much support and prayer over the past year. May the Infant God and His Most Holy Mother reward you for your kindness to us. This Mass is being offered for your intentions.

We can all, no doubt go to the treasury of our memory and pull out numerous Christmases of the past. For most of us, they would have been associated, especially in our youth, with a great deal of excitement, not just because of the Christmas presents, but also and perhaps firstly because we knew, because we were taught, that Christmas is the day on which God becomes one of us; He takes our side, and leads us to eternity. For that reason, there is a joy in the feast that cannot be contained.

But we all are also keenly aware that to this midnight Mass, each of us brings a burden: a burden of fatigue, a burden of sin, a burden of disappointment, a burden of fear: fear for the past, fear for the present, fear for the future. That is precisely why the Angel tells us on this most holy night: Fear not, I bring you tidings of great joy: A Saviour is born. He is Christ the Lord.

The fears and hurt of seemingly endless suffering, poverty, hunger, want, exploitation, wars, corruption, abuse, distortion of the truth, scandals laid to ensure the feet of the innocent, and the list goes on. But to each of us the word rings it today as it did over 2,000 years ago. Indeed, in vain do the so-called great ones of this world tell us that Christianity is over, that it has had its time. We know indeed that the Babe of Bethlehem has no time, for time is His, He is its Master. Today the Eternal one enters time, to transform time.

That transformation that begins on Christmas reaches its fullness in the Holy Catholic Church, through which we are incorporated into Christ, we are given a share in His eternal life and eternal light. The great marvel indeed of Christmas night is that into our darkness came the light, the eternal light that can never fade. Men may fail in discerning it, in holding on to it, in transmitting it. But the Eternal light does not depend on us for its transmission. It is ever bright and it shines for every passing generation. Fear not, Christ is born, and His truth remains forever. 

Christ does not come to make life easy. If He had wanted to do that, He would have been born in a magnificent palace and would have lived a life of luxury. Christ did not come to make a better world, in the sense in which the world understands the term. He came to transform the world from the inside, to change our perspectives, to bring our tired eyes into focus, so that those truths, those obvious truths that we had failed to notice, would be made clear to us, clear to the mind and heart of every God-fearing soul that is truly seeking the truth. What are those truths that every man needs to be saved? That there is a God, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He founded a Church through which, and through which alone, we can be saved from Hell and attain eternal life in Him. It is all that simple, and all you need to understand it is to have a simple heart, like the shepherds.

Ah, that is it! Christ comes in a lowly guise to reveal Himself to the humble. He comes in a supreme act of obedience, to teach us to curb our pride and learn docility. He comes in chastity to reveal Himself to the pure of heart, for they alone can see God.

There are those who are afraid for the Church, who are saddened by the failures of those who lead her; those who are afraid of losing the Mass, of losing the sacraments. To them we say: Fear not, Christ is born. What is true cannot be hidden for long, nor can it be silenced. The Truth does not die. The Light does not fade. For those saddened to see that the pure, saving doctrine of the Church is neglected, distorted, set aside, watered down, confused with errors of every shape and form, Fear not, Christ is born. Christ does not fail. Christ conquers, Christ reigns.

The Babe of Bethlehem is there to remind us that God is with us – Emmanuel. Forever, God is with us. Fear not, weep not. This is no feast for lamenting. For on this night, life is born, and Life does not die. The Heavens have opened, and honey has poured out upon the earth. Let us taste and see how sweet the Lord is. Amen.