First reading Isaiah 52:7-10

Rejoice, for the Lord is consoling his people

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.
 

Responsorial Psalm 97(98):1-6

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
  with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
  acclaim the King, the Lord.
 
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 

Second reading Hebrews 1:1-6

God has spoken to us through his Son

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.
 

Gospel John 1:1-18

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

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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Jesus: The reason for Christmas

“The Word became flesh, he lived among us”. The gospel of today sums up the meaning of Christmas. It Is God entering our world in human form, in the person of Jesus. Thus, God is no longer beyond us or outside of us. Instead, God is near. In Jesus, we see a God who is Love  and desires to be close to us. Thus, we do not need to fear God, but we too are called to fearlessly enter into a friendship with Him who  loves us so much.
 
The gospel also speaks of Jesus as the “…light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it”. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a dark place for different reasons, for example, sickness, death of a loved one, failure in a relationship, loss of job, addiction, etc. Jesus, the  true light, comes to shine in our darkness and bring us His comforting love and consoling peace. Today, as we celebrate Christmas, let us  open our hearts to Jesus, the Light that shines in our darkness, the Word that reveals God’s love.
 
Question for reflection:
Do I have a room in my heart for Jesus this Christmas?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.