In the weeks before Christmas even shopping malls sound like more like holy shrines as sacred carols play continually.
The best known of these Christmas carols, Silent Night, was first sung two hundred years ago for Christmas 1818: “Christ the saviour is born… with the dawn of redeeming grace…Jesus Lord at thy birth”
Thats a great line: “the dawn of redeeming grace” and redeeming grace is what we celebrate today: God’s love in action towards us, that is, people who don’t deserve such overwhelming love.
Thanks be to God for redeeming grace.
The beauty of this redeeming grace is that God doesn’t force this on anyone. We are free to accept or reject this life of grace.
Bishop Paul Martin spoke about the beauty of accepting this life of grace in his homily last night at Midnight Mass:
“A few years ago I visited the place of Jesus’ birth. There is a church built on the site now, and it is interesting that the doorway is only one and a half metres high. It is not possible for an adult to enter the place of Jesus birth without bending low. That is significant. In one of his Christmas Midnight Mass homilies Pope Benedict commented on this this suggesting that:
“if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason. We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognising God’s closeness.
“We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions – the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby.
“In this spirit let us celebrate the liturgy of the holy night, let us strip away our fixation on what is material, on what can be measured and grasped.
“Let us allow ourselves to be made simple by the God who reveals himself to the simple of heart.
A Grace for Christmas Dinner: