Hello dear friend,
Thank you for dropping in. I hope you are enjoying a good Christmas season. Mine is better than last year but will never be the same again since Mum and Dad passed on to heaven.
As with last year my favourite part so far was Midnight Mass. I volunteered to be a greeter for the fourth time in a row. I find this really helps me to contain my emotions. When you have to focus on giving everyone a warm welcome and ensure they have a booklet which contains all the carols and the order of service your own concerns slip away.
This year though, I got a surprise when our parish priest asked me and three other unsuspecting parishioners to do a reading throughout the carol service. But we all rose to the occasion. When I had a quick pre-service peek at my reading I was wowed by the beauty of the words. And when I read the sermon out to the packed church I couldn't stop smiling as I spoke. I am sharing the reading with you in the hope that it inspires you too.
Sermon on the Nativity by Pope St Leo the Great
O Christian, be aware of your nobility.
This is the day our Saviour was born: what a joy for us, my beloved! This is no season for sadness, this, the birthday of Life - the Life which annihilates the fear of death, and engenders joy, promising, as it does, immortality.
Nobody is an outsider to this happiness. The same cause for joy is common to all, for as our Lord found nobody free from guilt when He came to bring an end to death and sin, so He came with redemption for all. Let the saint rejoice, for he hastens to his crown: let the Sinner be filled with joy, for pardon is offered him: let the Gentile be emboldened, for he is called to life.
When the designated time had come, which God in His deep and impenetrable plan had fixed upon, God's Son took the nature of man upon Himself in order to reconcile man to his Creator. Thus would the devil, the father of death, be himself overcome by that self-same human nature which he had overcome.
The angels therefore exult at the birth of the Lord: they sing "Glory to God in heaven"; they announce "Peace on earth for men on whom His favour rests." For they behold the heavenly Jerusalem being constructed from out of the peoples on earth. How greatly ought mere men rejoice at this mysterious undertaking of divine love, when the angels on high thrill so much at it!
O Christian be aware of your nobility - it is God's own nature that you share.