Since there are so many different Mass Scriptures at Christmas, depending on which of the several Masses you may attend, I am choosing only a line from the gospel from the Midnight Mass. It is a line familiar with most of us, even with those who are not regular church attendee’s. ‘You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
This is the season when we all give gifts. They are all beautifully wrapped and some wrappings are more elaborate than others. We wouldn’t think of wrapping a diamond ring in a brown paper bag, it is usually wrapped inside a beautiful case lined with silk. What would we think of somebody who raved with joy about the wrappings and then discarded the real gift of the diamond inside? Even the most inexpensive gifts are wrapped, we hand our gift to our friends with some kind of wrapping: so does God. The greatest gift to mankind came to us on a Christmas night 2014 years ago wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The message of the angels, has been announced throughout the world ever since that night when they announced a gift, not wrapped in expensive and palatial surroundings, but in a cave where animals sheltered from the cold night air. Shepherds were the first to hear the message and came to the cave where they worshiped the divine infant. This gift was more precious than any gold, silver or diamonds. It was God Himself wrapped in the human flesh of a new born babe.
The reason that some may not feel the real excitement of Christmas is because they are more interested in the wrappings of Christmas, the lights and the glitter. It is even possible to be at Mass and be more interested in the wrappings in church. The choir, and the vestments of the clergy, are just elaborate wrappings. The gift for us today, is the real presence of the Divine Jesus wrapped in bread and wine. What a Gift!
Even Christmas is wrapped in words that are lost to many. A Merry Christ-Mass was a greeting exchanged in England during middle ages when people greeted each other on their way to Mass. We now have kept the wrappings and not the gift of the original words. If Jesus is not the most exciting gift you have ever received, you have never opened the gift of the Holy Eucharist, but merely kept the wrappings. Listen to the Angels message tonight and come with your family to receive the Christ Mass gift and adore Him. As you open your other gifts this Christmas and discard the wrappings, learn the real meaning of a Merry Christ Mass and come again next Sunday and each Sunday after to receive a Real Gift of the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion.
Merry Christ Mass to you all and a Happy New Year.