There are FOUR different options for Mass Readings on the Feast of Christmas! As it depends on the Mass you attend (and the preference of the presider) I will limit my reflection to the Gospel readings.
Vigil Mass – Matthew 1:1-25
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ, with fourteen generations between Abraham to David, fourteen generations between David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen generations between the Babylonian exile to Christ.
The passage concludes with the angel’s message in Joseph’s dream to welcome Mary into his home.
Mass at Midnight – Luke 2:1-14
Joseph brings Mary to Bethlehem for the census, and there Mary gives birth to Jesus and lays him in swaddling clothes in a manger.
The angels proclaim a message of hope to the shepherds nearby, singing “Glory to God in the highest!”
Mass at Dawn – Luke 2:15-20
The shepherds go to Bethlehem and find the baby Jesus in the manger.
The message of the angels is made known to Mary and Joseph, and the shepherds return home praising God.
Mass during the Day – John 1:1-18
The Prologue of John’s Gospel reveals that Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh and came into our world, shining with a light that the darkness can neither understand nor overcome.
John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is the Son of God.
The three falls of Jesus on the Way of the Cross express our awareness of the humanity of Jesus through his Incarnation; he becomes like us – taking on our human weakness – to redeem our weakness and restore us to grace.
COVID-19 has disrupted many lives this year, uncovering our human vulnerabilities and weaknesses. May the birth of the messiah remind us that through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ God becomes like us in all things but sin, meeting us in the midst of our struggles and giving us the strength, wisdom and courage to carry on.
The Prologue of the Gospel of John proclaims Jesus Christ – God’s Word – who became flesh that we might see and know him. As we draw near to our Savior, we rejoice over God’s love and offer our lives as living witnesses of the Lord.