Tonight we proclaim the hope that inspires us to keep moving forward on our journeys. We recognize the peace that extends from our souls into the world. We celebrate the joy that fills our spirits with excitement. And we herald the love passed between the Christ and us and between our neighbors and us. As the Christ Candle is kindled, we celebrate the compassion which will overcome hatred and the kindness which will overcome isolation. May the light seen tonight fill our souls throughout the new year and beyond, enlivening our spirits throughout eternity. Amen.
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see– I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Those words are probably more important today than ever. A savior was born that would change the world, change lives to this day. CHANGE OUR LIVES. This is the second time recently we have heard the words “Do not be afraid” The Angel Gabriel told Mary not to be afraid and an angel tells the shepherds to not be afraid. We need to listen to the angel it may not come to us directly, but the voices of the angel and the voices of the Lord tell us not to be afraid. We know today it isn’t easy to not be afraid. With so much going on in the world from Covid to unrest to just fear of where the future is headed. How do we not be afraid? Are we strong Like Mary, are we like the Shepherds who needed to go and see what the angels had told them? We need to go into the world and even though we aren’t going to visit the Baby Jesus, we can go out into the world and spread the Good news of Christ. There are many things we can do, we can provide help to those in need, check up on our neighbors, if capable make sure that our older neighbors are able to get what they need, and their walks have been cleaned and we can be diligent in protecting others as well as ourselves. Being a good neighbor is doing the work of Jesus and from the Gospel of John, we hear:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”—John 13:34-35
Let us pray: Grant Lord, that all our Churches and all our people be illuminated by His light and shine forth in the world. May the devotion of the shepherds, the adoration of the angels, and the love of the Holy Family inspire us in our worship this day and through the coming year.