The love of God is fully revealed once again tonight when we gather together to rejoice at the birth of His Son, the Word made Flesh. Let us raise our hearts and minds to God who brings salvation to us by sending our Lord Jesus Christ to dwell among us. Our God does everything in a beautiful and wonderful way. Thus, He shows us His love in a mysterious way.  The love of God radiated to us individually at this feast of the birth of Christ. My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, I invite you to rejoice because a God-man babe is given unto us. A son is born to us to bring us a blissful rest from our worries and anxieties.

       The people that dwelt in darkness have seen a great light. God has restored our dignity as his children. When the world became confused and discouraged and did not know which path to take to reach salvation, God sent His Only begotten Son to rescue us from sin and damnation. 

      God has done a great thing for us. How can we respond to this marvelous love? Let us be glad and with joyful hearts praise our God who dwells with us. Hail Jesus, the new born king. You have come to us in a humble manner; born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Touch our hearts at this moment, Lord and let our hearts feel the joy of your presence here and now. Remove from our hearts all that ignore your presence and your love. Make our hearts a place of your dwelling. Let us open our hearts, my dear friends, so that the babe Jesus can be born into our hearts. Let us become the receptacles of His loving presence. We should be grateful to our God because unto us a son is given: and the government is upon his shoulder: and he is called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Is 9: 6).

My dear friends in Christ, the grace of God that brings salvation has been given all of us. We are empowered to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we are called upon to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Let us .look for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

        As the angel said unto the shepherds, the Lord is saying to you “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy”.  And as the angels of a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,  peace to His people on earth”, let us also join our voices with theirs and sing the praises of our God. Let us remind ourselves that God loves us so much. His love will continue to assure us of His presence, now always.

.         Let us discard any unnecessary thoughts from our minds and think of worshipping the Lord, the new born king.  Consider the shepherds who leave everything they own, their flock, in the bush and go to adore Jesus first before anything else. Or the magi, the wise men from the East who leave the security of their homeland and make a long and dangerous journey to Bethlehem just to worship the new-born Jesus and give him gifts.

       Let us rejoice because the prince of peace is in our midst. Our world lacks peace. The prince of peace will give us the right signal for peace. Let us pave a way for the peace of Christ to remain in our hearts and in our families. Lord, give us your peace so that we can break the shell of unforgiveness in our hearts and be reconciled with one another in peace.

       No matter our circumstance of life the new born king, the prince of peace has come to stay with us; He is Emmanuel, God is with us. He dwells with us not only in the tabernacle of our chapel, but also in our hearts and in our families; not only in palaces but also in the poverty of slums. He dwells not only in the healthy but also in the sick people who lay in hospital beds. He is with us not only when we are happy, but also in times of sorrow. In every moment he dwells with us so that he can transform any situation as a place of His glory.

      My dear brothers and sisters, let us rejoice always and let the power of God’s love be experienced in our relationship with one another. Let us share this love and this joy of Christmas with everyone we encounter in our lives. I wish you all Merry Christmas.

 Fr. Ignatius Ayivor, SVD

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