Sunday, December 25, 2005

How he changes things (Midnight Mass)

Two thousand years ago,
in the black of night,
When Mary gave birth to the World’s Savior,
it’s Lord and God,
The Light came into the world.

Christ was born, yes, God was born!
The Son came from heaven,
Took our human nature,

soul and mind and emotions,
Flesh and bone and blood,

and made it forever his own.

This is what we celebrate today.
This, by the way,
is why we genuflect

during the Creed on Christmas.

You’d think the world would notice.

But it did not!

All the world lay in darkness that night,
The darkness of being far from God.
Man sought salvation in a thousand false gods,
Ensnared in the gloom of sin.

Such was the world’s darkness 2,000 years ago.
And the world is not far different today.

The challenge of Christmas, is wondering why—
Why hasn’t the Light made more of a difference?
False gods are as popular as ever;
We know their names:
Money and Success, Pleasure and Sex,
Entertainment and Sports;
Political Power, Military Might,
Science and Technology;

And above all, the great idol of Choice:
There is no truth—we are told—
but what we make for ourselves.

Sometimes movies and books

will have apocalyptic themes
of destruction and darkness to come:
Think of Terminator,
Think of dark portrayals of global warming,
Think of the “Left Behind” series.

Or just check out the day’s headlines!
We see the gloom of a world turning from God
Toward darkness and sin and chaos.

Well we might ask: Where is the Light?

Where it has always been:
Humble as an animal stable in a small town,
As small as newborn child,
And just as easy to ignore if we choose.

The Light is there; he is real and powerful;
But he invites rather than coerces.
That is the way of love.

That night in Bethlehem,
the world went on with business
as if nothing special happened;
It’s not far different today.

But if we stop; really stop;
And we meet his gaze and hold it;
If we let his Light really touch us and enter us…

What difference can that Child

and his Light make?
It can change us.
He can conquer our heart, if we let him;
He can fill us with hope,
With a vision of what mankind really can be—
Beginning with the vision
of the new person you and I can be.

But the hope begins by meeting that Child,
Kneeling before him, and letting in his Light.

We wonder when that Light

will finally change things,
Will finally make things right.

The answer lies

in the Child’s challenge to us:
When will you let my Light change you?


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Merry Christmas, Father.

Deacon Jim said...


It does what all good homilies do, it inspires several threads of thought.

The issue of other gods and the god of choice. The issue of where is the light - where can we find it.

Natural conclusion - the light started there and proceeded to change us by a singular salvific act. We find the light here in this tabernacle - take and eat.

Excellent and thank you Father.