December 25, 2020
Christmas this year has been especially hard. Like in a time of war, because it is a war. Jesus is the new David, born to lead His people to liberation from evil.
- The trials and tribulations of 2020 reflect well the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The people who walked in darkness…those dwelt in the land of gloom…”.
- Jesus was born in an era of strife, a war zone between good and evil. Today, our world is still in a war zone of evil and suffering.
- Jesus came to liberate us from Satan and sin by His humility and poverty, His Spirit of giving His divine love, mercy and holiness.
- We can help in the war of liberation by GIVING, especially during Mass all that is painful, disappointing and humiliating to us as a gift to our Lord.
- Jesus wants us to RECEIVE His gift which brings Him great joy and to accept His love and mercy.
- Open the door of your life to Jesus so he can come in and act in you and through you for the triumph of His kingdom.
Jesus was born into a war zone between good and evil, which still exists today. The angel said, “To you is born this day in the city of David. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David.”. Jesus is the New David. Jesus is the great warrior King who comes to free His people from the domination, from the tyranny of Satan and sin.
There is still a war going on. What can we do to help in this great war of liberation? Jesus asks two things: give and receive. We can give that stuff that seems worthless to us, all that is hard, painful and sad and disappointing and humiliating in our life, (like St. Joseph experienced) in the moment of offertory at Mass. To receive is to welcome His gift, because that is His joy. To receive Him in an act of trust, opening the door of our lives to Him.
“The people who walked in darkness…those dwelt in the land of gloom…” – seems these words of the prophet Isaiah we heard tonight have a special meaning in this year, Christmas of 2020, which has been a strange, difficult year – the covid situation has affected so many things – a battlefield in many ways – affected family gatherings, affected jobs, finances, even here on this little hillside in the dark for Mass is the reason we are here – when Tepeyac was designed, it was not designed for darkness – the cold gives us the experience of Bethlehem – to all of this uncertainty with the election and so many things in our country – all of this has had a big impact on our Church – there have been a lot of questions about the leadership in our Church – so this is a difficult and also a critical important year – this year and this Christmas we are living is a critical important time – it is good to be aware of that and providentially the Pope has declared the year of St. Joseph – this year is a year to turn to St. Joseph – remember what St. Joseph’s experience this night 2000 years ago – humanly speaking it was a mess – he had worked long and hard to provide a comfortable space for his spouse and her child – then a decree from the Emperor comes out – a bureaucratic decree that given from above with little concern on how it will affect people – all the hardships this decree will cause – we have been in a year with a lot of decrees – it was the very worse time possible when she was about to give birth – so they began this long, hard, cold trip in winter and there is no place for them to stay – St. Joseph is responsible for his family and nothing he can do about it – ( Father recommended reading Maria Valtorta about the events surrounding the Nativity and what St. Joseph experienced ) – why were things so difficult at that first Christmas and why are they difficult this year, now – this Christmas is not happening in a fairy tale world…it is happening in a world, which is dominated by sin – we are in a world with great conflict – Jesus was born into a war zone between good and evil – we are still celebrating Christmas today in a war zone – we know that our world has a lot of evil and suffering – why was Jesus born in Bethlehem – the angel said, “ To you is born this day in the city of David.” – to our Blessed Mother, the angel said, “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David.” – there is so much mentioned of David in this event, because Jesus is the New David, the Son of David – Joseph was of the House of David and Jesus is the New King of His people – the New Warrior King – the passage we heard from Isaiah said, “For the yolk of His burden and the staff for His shoulder the rod of His oppressor you are broken as on the day of Median .” – Jesus is the great warrior King who comes to free His people from the domination, from the tyranny of satan and sin – we don’t think of Christmas and war…it doesn’t seem to fit – yet, the little baby that is born is the little David – and from the very beginning He is following a very effective Divine strategy for destroying the power of satan and liberating His people – because human weapons don’t work against satan – against spiritual evil – so Jesus is following a Divine strategy and that is something He wants to teach us – what is that strategy? – the birth in Bethlehem is the beginning of a great counter attack , of liberation, of freeing His land…His Kingdom – so everything in it is part of that – His humility and poverty is to destroy the pride of the evil one – and Spirit of giving of His Divine Love is an attack against hatred and greed – mercy instead of revenge, holiness instead of corruption – so the decree from the Emperor is actually a part of God’s plan – it was prophesied years earlier that a child would be born in Bethlehem – nothing can escape God’s providence – St. Paul says, “God makes all things work for the good.” – even all of the craziness and chaos of this time, God’s Divine plan His Divine strategy is working and victory is assured, even though the war continues, but victory is assured – that is why St. Paul said, “ We await with blessed hope the appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ – still in the war zone, but His victory is assured – this is important because, so we have realistic expectations for Christmas – the world presents beautiful images of what Christmas should be and then we are often disappointed, because it doesn’t turn out that way for us, because things get messed up, things get ruined, many people end up feeling lonely, sad and upset during this Christmas season – but if we realize we are still in this war zone, don’t be surprised if things get messed up, like they were messed up for St. Joseph – one day Christmas will be splendor in glory, but right now there is still a war going on – what can we do in this war – what can we do to help in this great war of liberation – two things…but important…give and receive – we can give that stuff that seems worthless to us, all that is hard, painful and sad and disappointing and humiliating in our life – like St. Joseph experienced – in the moment of offertory at Mass, we can give all of that to the Lord – it is part of our gift to Him – even the fact of being cold at Mass here at the Mission and all the painful restrictions and for us at the Mission of Divine Mercy of not being able to receive Holy Communion on the tongue – even all of that we can offer as a special gift to the Lord – when we offer, it becomes a weapon for this great war of liberation – so tonight is a night to give to Our Lord – and tonight is also a night to receive – to welcome His gift, because that is His joy…it is joyful to give someone you love a beautiful gift a special gift – Jesus wants to ask us to receive His gift – maybe we feel very unworthy to receive Jesus – maybe we feel like our life is kind of a wreck – there is a lot that is sinful in us and maybe feel miserable and wretched…even – think of where Jesus is born, it was a miserable, wretched ruin of a stable and that is a lesson for us – Jesus is the God of mercy, it is His joy – coming into a fixer upper and that fixer upper is us – it is His joy to come into struggling lives, because He is the Lord of Mercy – He comes happily into our misery, if we trust in His mercy – tonight He is asking of us the effort and sometimes a heroic effort to trust in Him to trust in His love to believe in His love even when we don’t feel like it, even when we don’t see it, even when we wonder, Lord where are You? – that act of trust the faith is so powerful – Jesus, I trust in You – it is the opening of the door to our lives to Him – what was the tragic thing, when Jesus came? – St. John says, “He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.” – the doors were closed…the doors of hearts not physical doors – what is cold for Jesus is not temperature, it’s luke warmness, it’s indifference – so tonight, Jesus asks us to open the door of our lives, of our hearts, so that He can come in, to trust in Him – it is critical battle we are living – what Jesus needs above all of us is faith, trust, so that He can act – we can’t defeat satan, but Jesus can – Jesus asks for yours and my cooperation – that cooperation is to open the door to Him – say to Jesus, I am a sinner, I’m unworthy, I struggle, I have doubts, but I want to open the door to my life, my unworthy life to you, so You can come in and act in me and act through me for the triumph of Your Kingdom – so right now, during this Christmas Mass…you don’t have to feel anything, what He is inviting you to do is give your sacrifices and give the gift of your trust of opening the door to Him – this Mass is not about feeling something, this Mass is part of the great campaign of liberation of God’s people – the very sacrifices you are making to be here make that even stronger – faith so that God can act, so in this year 2020, this struggling year God can act – that is what He is asking of this Mission of Divine Mercy – He has brought you here tonight to make an act of faith in Him in His presence here especially in the Holy Eucharist, so He can act through you – I will conclude…in this critical time, in this great war that we are living our faith reveals the victory is God’s, the victory is assured – here we have the baby Jesus, the Crucifix and the relic of the True Cross, so with St. Joseph, Our Lady of Guadalupe, with the poor Shepherds and with all the angels who were there that night and are here tonight – the moon, the stars and even these lights remind us of the presence of the angels – we can offer in the offertory of this Mass all that is hard and difficult right now, sad and disappointed in our life – above all we can make an act of faith – Jesus I trust that you are here – that you love me – I trust you are here in the Blessed Sacrament and You want to come into my life, tonight – I want to welcome You – I am not worthy to receive You – then Father reread the Prophet Isaiah –