Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

CHRISTMAS

Select liturgy here:

Mass at Midnight
Mass at Dawn
Mass during the Day

CHRISTMAS Mass at Midnight, YEAR A B C

Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 95; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14

The joy and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, born for us this night, be with you! The customary reading for Christmas from the Roman Martyrology, often proclaimed prior to the celebration of Christmas Mass at Midnight:
In the year 5199 since the creation of the world, when God made heaven and earth;
in the year 2759 since the flood;
in the year 2015 since Abraham's birth;
in the year 1510 since the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt under the guidance of Moses;
in the year 1032 since David was anointed king.
In the 65th week of the year according to Daniel's prophecy;
in the 194th Olympiad, in the year 732 after the building of Rome;
in the 42nd year of the reign of Octavian Augustus, when there was peace in the whole world;
in the 6th era of the world's history;
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desired to sanctify the world by His gracious coming.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and now after nine months (all kneel)
He is born at Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah as Man from the Virgin Mary.
THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE FLESH.

Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: 'The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.' (1 Cor 15:45, 47) From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God 'gives him the Spirit without measure.' (Jn 3:34) From 'his fullness' as the head of redeemed humanity 'we have all received, grace upon grace.' (Jn 1:16) (CCC 504)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" - Father Cusick

(See also CCC 333, 437, 448, 486, 515, 525, 559, 695, 725.)

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


Christmas Mass at Dawn, YEAR A B C

Isaiah 62, 11-12; Psalm 96; Titus 3, 4-7; St. Luke 2, 15-20

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The core of prayer is the ability to reflect upon God's revelation of himself and to respond with love.

The drama of prayer is fully revealed to us in the Word who became flesh and dwells among us. To seek to understand his prayer through what his witnesses proclaim to us in the Gospel is to approach the holy Lord Jesus as Moses approached the burning bush: first to contemplate him in prayer, then to hear how he teaches us to pray, in order to know how he hears our prayer. (CCC 2598)

In the Father's plan, Christ himself learned how to pray from the teaching and example of Mary and Joseph. Let us learn, like the Lord, from Mary how to pray. We "treasure" the miracle and astounding revelation of God's taking of our flesh in and "reflect" upon this transforming truth. Our lives of prayer will thus flourish.

The Son of God who became Son of the Virgin learned to pray in his human heart. He learns to pray from his mother, who kept all the great things the Almighty had done and treasured them in her heart. (Cf. Lk 1:49; 2:19; 2:51.) He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of the prayer of his people, in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at Jerusalem. But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he intimates at the age of twelve: "I must be in my Father's house." (Lk 2:49) Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for men. (CCC 2599)

The Incarnation of the Son of God, the Christmas gift for mankind, continues in the proclamation of the Word and the sacramental life in the Church. Christmas is repeated in every sacred liturgy. God's grace comes to us in many ways, but never as really, truly and substantially as in the liturgy and sacraments, in particular the Eucharist. We can, by this most sure means of grace, become Christ-like instruments in holiness of life and fervent, joyful prayer. These are the fruits and gifts of Christ come to birth in us, Christ worshipping the Father in us, Christ praying and living in us. Without the prayer of liturgical and sacramental worship and its extension in personal prayer through the day, the life of the soul dries up and the human person is frustrated in the quest for real and lasting happiness.

Looking forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" - Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/


Christmas Mass during the Day, YEAR A B C

Isaiah 52, 7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1, 1-6; John 1, 1-18

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The nativity of the Lord, the blessed feast of Christmas, is about the gift of God that none of us can ever repay. It is not only the birth of Christ; perhaps it is more the birthday of all those blessed to be baptized into the saving death and resurrection of our incarnate Lord.

The Catechism has this to say about the Incarnation:

Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: 'The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.' (1 Cor 15:45, 47) From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure.' (Jn 3:34) From 'his fullness' as the head of redeemed humanity 'we have all received, grace upon grace.' (Jn 1:16) (CCC 504)

THE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY

Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. (Lk 2:6-7) Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest. (Lk 2:8-20) The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:
The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
And the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us,
Little Child, God eternal!

(Kontakion of Romanos the Melodist) (CCC 525)

We sing with the angels in each Mass as we anticipate our own meeting with the incarnate Lord born this day, and at each liturgy, in the Eucharist: "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus sabaoth, pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua, hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, hosanna in excelsis."

Looking forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" - Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/