1. Is52:7-10
2.Heb 1:1-6
Gospel: John1:1-18

"The joy of Christ's presence in our midst"

It once happened in a certain parish that there was a Christmas procession with children dressed as John and Mary. These children were supposed to carry the statue of the Child Jesus to place it in the manger. However, when they went to the cupboard where it was kept, it was not there. They searched for it everywhere but they could trace it, instead they found the small basket of unconsecrated hosts.  Thus they carried them in the procession and placed them in the manger. The priest did the best he could with the homily, mentioning that the original manger was a feeding trough for animals, that Bethlehem means" House of bread" and that the Child Jesus would one day offer himself as the Bread of Life. After communion, without anyone knowing how happened, the statue of the infant Jesus reappeared in the manger, looking newer and brighter than anyone remembered. The parishioners continue to recount this event to anyone who will listen.

Dear brothers and sisters today we are celebrating the solemnity of the Lord's Birth which is popularly known as Christmas. During this Christmas day let us ask the Lord: What is your birthday with, Lord? I am sure, the birthday with of the Lord will be: do not postpone your conversion, do not postpone your loving and change of wish; count your blessings and not your sufferings.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the savior of all humankind especially for us Christian Catholics. Most historians peg the first Christmas celebration to Rome in 336 A.D. Christmas is a holiday. For us Catholics, it's an important day in our liturgical calendar of the Church since the Lord became incarnate. Christmas is a feast of light in a much more profound sense since it celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He came to bring light and hope to our world. He opens our eyes to see things with the new light of faith. That is why we had lighted the white candle, the candle of peace, a the middle of Advent Wreath last night.

Christmas is an occasion for Joy. We come to an even greater appreciation of what Christ has done for us. We rejoice in the fact that his birth in that simple manger in Bethlehem opened for us the way to salvation. Thus this is the cause of our joy. But let us celebrate Christmas with Christ at the midst. An unknown author wrote something about the Christmas Ten Commandments that appeared in a church newsletter and these contain some good advice that will help us keep selfishness in check this Christmas:

1. You shall not leave " Christ" out of Christmas, making it " Xmas." To some, " X" is unknown.
2. You shall always prepare your soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that your soul is forgotten.
3.You shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus lobbing the day of its spiritual reality.
4. You shall not burden the shop girl, the mailman and the merchant with complaints and demands.
5 You shall give yourself with your gift. This will increase its value and a hundred fold and he who receives it shall treasure it forever.
6. You shall not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love and that is more priceless than silver and gold.
7. You shall not neglect the need. Share your blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless you are generous.
8. You shall not neglect your church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.
9. You shall be as a little child. Not until you have become in spirit as a little one you are ready to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

10. You shall give your heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of your Christmas list.

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Chapisha Maoni