Daily Archives: December 25, 2013

Wednesday, 25 Dec – Joyful Happiness

25 Dec – Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord: Mass During The Day

The Word Made Flesh

For us the Word of God is no longer the message spoken by prophets, but the messenger of God in person, the eternal Word begotten of the Father before time began.

– The Sunday Missal
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Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of one who brings good news,
who heralds peace, brings happiness,
proclaims salvation,
and tells Zion,
‘Your God is king!’
Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices,
they shout for joy together,
for they see the Lord face to face,
as he returns to Zion.
Break into shouts of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord is consoling his people,
redeeming Jerusalem.
The Lord bares his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
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Hebrews 1:1-6

At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.

God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him.
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John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

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The Word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth

Christmas Day is a day where most people celebrate in a spirit of joy and festivity. Friends gather to catch up with old times and many folks will spend their time feasting and drinking. However, the readings of today remind us that Christmas is about the manifestation of Jesus to the world. In fact, the Word made flesh is something which all of us should rejoice in tremendously and be proud of.

As Christians, we are called to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is in our midst. To all the non-Christians and lapsed Christians, our first duty is to evangelise them and show them that Jesus is in our midst and we should also demonstrate to them the great joy of this wonderful news. Our urgency should be like that of the first reading for each one of us to proclaim the news to all around us. I am not advocating a militant approach but rather an approach where we reach out to all around us with patience and kindness and small acts of charity to all whom we encounter. I believe more will be accomplished in this manner than any other way for we first take into account the needs of the person who wishes to be loved.

As we continue in our celebration, let it not be a meaningless celebration but one which captures the spirit of joy and love which the Christ child brings to the world. This is a spirit of love and charity which we must extend to all around us. Our actions must go beyond just well-wishes but genuine actions which allow others to see in themselves the innate goodness they have in them.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)

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Prayer: Lord, let us remember the spirit of Christmas in our midst.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who bring the joy of Christmas through carols to those imprisoned.

Wednesday, 25 Dec – Preparation for Christmas

25 Dec – Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord: Mass At Dawn

The First Dawn Of A New Age

 We celebrate the marvellous events of the first morning of a new world, when the kindness and love of God our Saviour made us his holy people, the Lord’s Redeemed, his ‘sought-after’, and his ‘city-not-forsaken’.

– The Sunday Missal
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Isaiah 62:11-12

This the Lord proclaims
to the ends of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Look,
your saviour comes,
the prize of his victory with him,
his trophies before him.’
They shall be called ‘The Holy People’,
‘the Lord’s Redeemed.’
And you shall be called ‘The-sought-after’,
‘City-not-forsaken.’
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Titus 3: 4-7

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour for humanity were revealed, it was not because of any upright actions we had done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own faithful love that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and renewal in the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our Saviour; so that, justified by his grace, we should become heirs in hope of eternal life. 
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Luke 2:15-20

When the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

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Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart

Ever since I had started in a new job a few months ago, I had been busy with long working hours and heavy church commitments. This new challenge always left me drained and exhausted at the end of each day. In the past, I used to be able to recollect the happenings and reflect on them in my prayers daily. But now, my new job had a dramatic change on my prayer routine and restricted my free time. So I made use of my traveling to pray the Rosary or mediate on Scriptures and the Gospel to keep in touch with God.

I admit that I was not pleased with that change in the beginning. But reflecting on the example of Mother Mary that we read in today’s Gospel: “reflecting on them in her heart” (v.19), I learnt that even trials from God are not without His purposes – He intends for us to grow our virtues through His graces. Since God Himself is holy and perfect, He wants us to be holy and perfect like Him as His children. Look at the shepherds in the Gospel. They were working in their daily routines when the Angels suddenly appeared to them. How did this abrupt change affect them? They responded to this Mystery, upped and went, to visit the Holy Family, to receive the birth of Infant Jesus. Afterwards, they rejoiced and glorified God for everything. It is because of their openness to God through their simplicity, God was able to touch their hearts and enter into their lives. I am sure that it was the best Christmas present they, including Mother Mary and Saint Joseph had ever had in their lives.

Many of us certainly have many busy moments in our lives. But we have to reflect on this point: “Are we too attached to our daily wordly commitments that we forget about God? Or are we open to God any moment?” As we enter into this season of Christmas, let us recollect, reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ and welcome Him in our hearts.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Michael Goo)

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Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your lovely graces to help us prepare for the coming of Christ in this Christmas. Help us to be more open to You like Mother Mary was.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks and praise to God for every change that helps us to make progress in holiness towards God.