Homily Christmas December 24-25, 2015
If we look at this evening’s gospel, we are clearly in the middle east which is under the control of the Roman emperor. Quirinius was the Governor of Syria. An enrollment or census is proclaimed and thus great turmoil and travel begins as each must return to their birthplace to enroll. The noise, the confusion in a region where people tended to move from place to place normally was now in greater confusion. This confusion, the turmoil, the hardship to the people sounds familiar today as we see confusion and migration and mass movement in that same region. It is something we see from afar as we are in an age of instant communication and can see and communicate worldwide in an instant. The scary part is we see the pain and suffering, but it is a two dimensional reality to most as we sit content on our couch. But God chose such a moment in history to send His Son to be a man and a part of our world. Having chosen Joseph and Mary, His son entered the world in a quiet humble corner of that tumultuous world. The creator of the world chose two humble parents and was born in a stable that was quiet and safe, yet made and set aside for the animals. From this moment on, Jesus remained in a world of conflict and contradiction. His teaching was and is for a world that is of our soul and in a time and place to come. It is best even now for us to go aside and find a quiet and restful place in a world that often goes on in the same chaotic and tumultuous way.
Jesus taught us the way, the way to love to relate and care for each other, to put aside hatred and anger and all the negative things around us. Humanity remains the same and Christ’s work continues throughout the ages. Even as we advance and change and technology transforms he world, the greatest challenge that we have is still with ourselves and learning to love. We are here now in a place, quiet and set aside. Peace, love, friendship is here for us. We recall that God’s love begins, as it did that Christmas night, with a Mother and Father and grows and expands as each of us grows physically and spiritually. On this night let us be thankful for the most generous gift of love God bestowed in Jesus Christ.