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Christmas Mass (Midnight)
| Christmas Day
Who is Jesus?
HE IS JESUS
WHO IS HE?
IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.
IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE
IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF
GRAVITY WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN;
IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW
OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH
TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD;
IN ME DICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE
BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS,
IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END;
IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL
BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE;
IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO
THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM;
SO. WHO IS HE?
HE IS JESUS!
JOIN ME AND LET'S CELEBRATE HIM;
HE IS WORTHY.
IN GOD I'VE FOUND EVERYTHING!
The Greatest Man in History
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him...
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us!
If you believe in God and in Jesus
Christ His Son... Send this to all on
your buddy list.
If not just ignore it.
If you ignore it, just remember that
'If you deny me before man, I will den y you before my
Father in Heaven
Christmas Mass (Midnight)December
24, 2007 Year: A
Is. 9:2-4, 6-7; Tit. 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-16
Saviour is born to the world
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great
light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on
them light has shone. You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as
with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing
For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their
shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken
as on the day of Midian.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be
endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it with justice and with
righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The
zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." [Is. 9:2-4.
"The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to
all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly
passions, and in the present age to live lives that are
self-controlled, upright and godly, while we wait for
the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of
our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us
from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his
own who are zealous for good deeds." [Tit. 2:11-4]
"In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus
that all the world should be registered. This was the
first registration and was taken while Quirinius was
governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be
registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth
in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called
Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and
family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to
whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver
her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and
wrapped him in hands of cloth, and laid him in a manger,
because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the
fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an
angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of
the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But
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
Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a
sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of
cloth and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in
the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go now to
Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which
the Lord has made known to us.' So they went with haste
and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the
manger." [Lk. 2:1-16]
A long time ago there was a great General who was faced
with a situation which made it necessary for him to make
a drastic decision to insure his success on the
battlefield. He was about to send his army on shore to
face a powerful enemy, whose men outnumbered his. He
loaded his soldiers into boats, and sailed to face the
enemies on shore. When they reached the shore, he
ordered them to unload the soldiers and cargoes. He
then ordered for all the ships and boats to be burned.
Addressing his men before the battle, he said, “You see
the ships and boats going up in smoke. That means that
we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We
now, have no choice – either we win, or we perish.”
Just like the General, we have to burn all our bridges
if we want to achieve success. There can be no room for
retreat and we must have an attitude of, “Whatever it
takes”, taking into consideration that we can have
anything we desire provided we do not violate Universal
Laws and the rights of our fellow human beings. Do not
dwell on the past. Move forward with confidence and we
will surely see success, unexpected in common hours.
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength
to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming
Jesus did that same thing, he burned everything, to
become a human, so that he could win. He won. Though he
was in the form of God, he did not count EQUALITY with
God a thing to be grasped, HE EMPTIED HIMSELF… TAKING
THE FORM OF A SERVANT…
look at his life. Born in poverty. Hunted as an
infant. Mocked as an adult and crucified for loving
others, he brought kindness and peace to those who
allowed him into their lives. He would not allow
darkness to overcome him. He would not become cynical.
He would not succumb to hatred. He would not let
selfishness determine his choices. He lived to love.
He would not give up on love or give up on anyone for
that matter. His love turned the darkness of the Good
Thief crucified next to him into light. The former
criminal was attune to the presence of God’s love, his
eyes were adjusted to Divine Starlight.
people will be visiting each of us during the Christmas
celebrations. Let’s be frank, we really do not want to
see some of these people. They will conveniently forget
their nastiness over the years and walk into our homes
saying “Merry Christmas.” They will act as though
nothing negative has transpired. We are upset, not just
because we were hurt, but because they have hurt someone
have a golden opportunity here, though. We can turn the
typical Christmas phoniness into an experience of the
Lord if we make the determination right now to love
them, to be kind to them and not to be concerned with
whether or not we will be hurt once more. If we are
sincere, they just might catch a glimpse of starlight in
muddle of Christmas sentimentality.
is how the Tremendous Lover would act. That is how we
act as people of Divine Starlight.
fact, the greatest compliment that anyone could ever say
to any of us is “When I am with you, I know what Jesus
must be like.”
we try to be like the Lord, we will see the Divine
starlight in the middle of the darkness. When we are
like the Lord, we will be the Divine starlight in the
middle of a dark world.
many, Christmas is a time of sadness, a time of more
intense darkness. Some of us have lost loved ones and
miss them intensely during the holidays. What would
Jesus be like if he was there, with the grieving spouse,
the stricken parent? Would he say, “Get over it, move
on with life.” I don’t think so. What would Jesus be
like? Well, he wept at Lazarus’ tomb, didn’t he. He
would cry, and hug, and love and not be concerned with
the words he said, just with being present supporting
and loving those whose grief is intensified at
Christmas. If we can be loving in this way, if we can
be like the Lord in this way, then we will be Divine
starlight in the middle of a dark world.
some Christmas is a time of deep sadness because their
lives have not followed the plan they set out for
themselves and their children. Marriages have failed,
careers have been disrupted by sickness or sudden
unemployment, families have been wounded by addictions,
and good people have suffered. What would Jesus be like
if he were to spend time with these people, in their
families? Would he be prying, “What really happened?”
accusatory, “Couldn’t you have done more?” or would he
be supportive of the new direction taken, marveling at
the sacrifices made, happy for the strength of love that
has withstood unforeseen changes in life. When we are
loving instead of judgmental, we are being like the
Lord. We will be Divine starlight in the middle of a
are convinced that the darkness they feel at Christmas
or throughout the year for that matter is
self-inflicted. How many girls suffer at Christmastime
because they were persuaded by those older than them or
supposedly wiser than them to terminate a pregnancy?
Absolution might remove the sin, but it does nothing for
the pain. Some of these girls are in your families.
Some of these girls are here right now. What would
Jesus be like for these victims of an immoral society?
He would be warm, loving, and He would become a baby for
them to hold and rock.
fact, He did. He did become a baby not just for these
suffering girls, but for all of us, and particularly for
all who hurt. He became a baby for us to hold and rock
and love and gaze at and wonder at and realize that,
perhaps, after all, all is well in this dark old world
we hold Him, when we treasure the Presence of God as one
of us, the Gift of Christmas, we begin to see clearly.
And the Divine Starlight shines through the darkness.
December 25, 2007 Year: A
Is 52:7-10; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18;
Jn 1:1-5, 9-14
A child is born
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the
messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who
announces salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together
they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the
return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing, you ruins of
Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has
redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of
the earth shall see the salvation of our God." [Is.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various
ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has
spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all
things, through whom he also created the worlds.
He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact
imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things
by his powerful word. When he had made purification for
sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
high, having become as much superior to angels as the
name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God every say, 'You are
my Son: today I have begotten you'? Or again, 'I will be
his Father, and he will be my Son"? And again, when he
brings the firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all
God's angels worship him.'" [Heb. 1:1- 6]
"In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with
God. All things came into being through him, and without
him not one thing came into being. What has come into
being in him was life, and the life was the light of all
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did
not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He
came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all
might believe through him. He himself was not the light,
but he came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming
into the world. He was in the world, and the world came
into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, and his own people did not
accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in
his name, he gave power to become children of God, who
were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or
of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we
have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only
son, full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of
whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me
because he was before me.' From his fullness we have all
received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given
through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only
Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made
him known." [Jn. 1:1-18]
Birth is the most lively and joyful event
in the life of the born and parents. This joy cannot be
easily expressed. There is such a lot of life involved
in the birth of a child.
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in
Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was
destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and
parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6
years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the
ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that
One day, when Plumb and his wife were
sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up
and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in
Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were
”How in the world did you know that?”
”I packed your parachute,” the man
replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man
pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb
assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked,
I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking
about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he
had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; abib in
the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many
times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good
morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I
was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb
thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long
wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully
weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute,
holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he
Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s
packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who
provides what they need to make it through the day. He
also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes
when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he
needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his
emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He
called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that
life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may
fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate
someone on something wonderful that has happened to
them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for
no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this
year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.
Christianity is a religion of joy that invites every
human being to experience liberation from feelings of
inadequacy, guilt, and worthlessness. More than
underscoring our shortcomings, the teachings of Jesus
open for us a deep appreciation of God's unfathomable
love for every person. God's love does not depend on how
good we are, how bright or promising, how conscientious
or even caring. It's hard to believe, but God loves us
just because we are. How do we know this? Jesus, God
Incarnate, demonstrates this in his interaction with
surrounded himself with the "losers" of his day:
prostitutes, tax collectors (hated because they cheated
the public), lepers (their disease made them total
outcasts), and the poor and disadvantaged. His primary
followers were a group of mostly fishermen, whom he
promised would learn to "fish for people." These
followers often misunderstood Jesus, and when Jesus was
being persecuted, they deserted and denied him. Jesus
was amazingly patient, always forgiving, always meeting
people on their own terms. He was slow to condemn and
quick to bring out the best even in the least likely
people. Their transformations came as a result of their
gradual appreciation for the mystery of God's love for
them. If God could accept and love them despite their
sins and shortcomings, perhaps they could learn to
accept and love themselves!
does hold up ideals that are never possible to fully
emulate here on earth. His desire is to bring out the
best in each of us not to lay some guilt trip. Even
those whom we call "saints" (the holy ones) are hardly
without faults. What makes someone a saint is not their
goodness but the quality of their love of others. Those
who live more and more for others, who like Jesus extend
themselves to respect and value every other person, are
Ironically, it is often when we do feel inadequate or
sinful that God's love and grace come to reassure us and
turn us around.
"Blessed are those who know their need of God, for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3.
What is important to God is not our perfection, as if
that were possible, but our understanding that we need
God in order to find our deepest selves. When we know
our need of God, we understand that the world does not
rest on our shoulders, that someone loves us deeply
despite our many warts, that we will never be alone, and
that our life is not a test we have to pass. Rather,
life is a relationship with God we simply have to live.
celebrate Christmas, we need to keep in mind that this
is a feast of all of us, especially of sinners, because
the only reason Jesus came into this world is to call
back the sinners. He is always there, with them. We need
just to say him that we need him in this situation of
sin and helplessness.
Early in the morning when I was on my way
to celebrate the Holy Eucharist I spotted a rag picker
from afar. He was tired going through the rubbish that
was heaped on the road side and then he rested for a
while. He was busy searching for things in the stinking
rubbish that was dumped on the road side. He then picked
up some bones from a plastic bag, started chewing them.
My heart broke and I approached him, gave him some money
and I disappeared from there. I could not stomach the
fact of that boy chewing the bones and I lost my sleep
that day. I became deeply aware of my life and
conditions around me. I became conscious of how much I
blame others for so little things of no importance at
all. I feel so comfortable in my room with all the
modern facilities, I am cared and food never lacks in my
life. I wonder since how many days this boy did not take
anything substantial. I entered deep within the
miserable conditions of the society, the rag pickers,
the lonely, the terminally ill people, broken families,
the unemployed etc.
Christmas is Thanksgiving
The words of St. Paul
must resound in our hearts as we draw closer to the end
of this year and begin a new one. Thanking is a human
quality springs from within because of the divine
presence within us and His providence. We cannot but
thank Him for life itself that has come to us through
mysterious ways and mysterious people. Just a reflection
on how our parents met each other and how they fell in
love with each other and how they gave birth to you is a
mystery human mind cannot easily grasp. At times the
question may arise within us, why am I born? Why am I
born this way? And in this family and society? And why
am I in this country? But a much deeper question should
haunt us, why my parents liked one another and came
together to make a family? Such questions perhaps will
awaken in us the sense of wonder, providence, gratitude
and beauty. The word “you” is very important to me and
you. If “you” were not there I would not be for “you”.
This “you” applies to my parents, brothers and sisters,
friends, community members, people I know, and to the
community in which I live right now etc. We are all
connected to one anther through this word “you”. Anyone
who is fortunate enough to have a friend or relative who
is consistently supportive knows how much we depend on
connections as “you” and “me” or similar as these.
Anyone who has ever been seriously ill and had to go to
the hospital remembers what it feels like to have a kind
doctor, nurse, or medical technician stand by the side
of the gurney. It isn't just the medical expertise
that's comforting; it's the human presence that makes us
feel that we are not alone. Anyone who has ever relied
on a kind stranger to help at roadside with sudden car
trouble knows why some people refer to these Samaritans
as angels. Our relationships precisely mirror our
satisfaction, or lack of it, with life itself. When we
are unhappy, most often it's because we don't have
is nothing like thanking someone during this season. We
need to find that person who really made an impact in
our life. Hence, searching that person, who led you till
this point of your life. We cannot thank God enough.
The times he has protected me from
dangerous, fatal accidents. This has happened very often
in my life. Just a close brush with a speeding vehicle
would have put an end to my life, yet I live today. I
remember when once I escaped a fatal accident at the
middle of the road, the speeding motorcycle of my friend
skid and we fell flat on road. That day, God was just
with us. In another 30 seconds 10 trucks with heavy
loads passed by, and those trucks would never have
applied breaks to save us if we had been still there.
That would have killed a dozen of people. I do not have
words even today to thank the Mighty Hand that prevented
that tragedy. I cannot thank God enough the times when I
see people with multiple serious and incurable diseases
and I am still without any of such things. I fall on my
knees and thank him. I will never ever succeed in
thanking HIM ENOUGH.
Let this day be a day of stocktaking. Let
us turn within, recognize our weaknesses and try to
overcome them. Let us sink down all differences and sit
together in all loving devotion for the Master. Let us
purge our souls and cleanse our hearts, for unless we
are pure, we cannot see the Kingdom of God, much less
enter into it.
If you can love your God with all your
heart, with all your strength and with all your soul and
love your neighbors as yourselves; if you can forget
your prejudices and differences, your hatreds and petty
jealousies; if you can love even your enemies as Jesus
did, who died uncomplaining on the Cross, then all
things shall be added unto you and you will achieve
spiritual peace here and hereafter.
The love of the Master for you is
boundless. The path is difficult, but He is always with
you to guide you. Live by what He says, turn within and
do daily meditation, and as sure as the sun rises every
day, you shall become the seers and the hearers of' the
is a commentary on our situation in life that the
biggest problem most of us has with our Christmas
shopping, aside from finding time to do it, is that most
of the people we shop for already have everything they
need. This year I’m fresh out of ideas.
Are we people who
everything or we who need
everything? What do we really need this Christmas?
time for sorting out our lives, time for
being together, time for getting to know one another,
and time for sharing ourselves at the deepest levels of
a sense of life’s deeper dimensions, of
eternal mysteries breaking in upon finite existence, of
the God of righteousness whose being conveys meaning to
all of life’s actions and relationships, and the
blessing of a world that wants to bless us if we’ll only
We need space
seeing life as it is,
for seeing the millions of people in the
world who are starving to death and the millions who are
dying of simple diseases, for realizing how shallow life
is when it is lived merely for the pleasure of the
moment without any regard to the future or its
consequences, for standing back and looking at our own
lives, so that, we will have a chance to mend our ways,
to become wholesome, to become worthy, and to become
children of God.
the Christ of Christmas and renewal of our inner spirits.
That is what it all comes down to, isn’t
it? We need to hear and receive the message of
Christmas, that God has entered the human arena to dwell
with us, that His presence is consequently here and
available to us now, that we are not alone, spinning out
our destinies…, and that all our days are spent before
the Holy One of Israel who poured all that He was and is
and will be through the funnel of a miracle into the
child born in the manger of Bethlehem. We need to
surrender our lives to Christ, who is the real Gift of
Christmas, and in the end He so overshadows all others
as to be the only one.
In a sense, I am talking about all of us.
That is the way it ought to be for us at
Christmas. Most of us have been lost in the busyness of
our existence, trying to cope from day to day, and have
quite forgotten who we are or whose we are… And then we,
who thought we had everything, realize we have nothing,
and, realizing we have nothing, stand ready to receive
everything. For He is our joy and peace.
Another year of our precious life has
gone, bringing us closer to the great final change,
called death. Those who have learnt to rise above
body-consciousness at will, have won victory over death.
Last enemy that we have to conquer is death. Blessed are
they who have attained this competency at the feet of
the Master Jesus - for they lose all fear of death—for
them life and death make no difference—for they die
daily and traverse into the higher planes. Physical
Science has produced weapons to move in the space around
the world as also to reach moon. These inventions seemed
miraculous in the past. But it has now become a solid
fact. Similarly our Divine Master who came, knew as to
how to rise above body-consciousness and traversed into
the higher planes. 'Unless you are born anew, you cannot
enter the Kingdom of God'. 'Learn to die so that you may
begin to live'.
I wish that you be rooted on your belief
solidly. Let not others' wayward opinions deflect you
from the True Path you are on. Let not promises of glory
by anyone waylay you. Do not come to hurried
conclusions, but use discrimination in all your
undertakings. Stick to what is Real. With an ethical and
loving background your spiritual success is definitely
assured. My love and best wishes are always with you in
all your noble efforts and holy journey to your home.
In all the frenzy and noise of the season
of Christmas, O God, help us to find our way home; and,
having found it, let us never lose it. Through Christ,
who was born to show us the way. Amen.
This Christmas Question for you
Have you ever thanked God for your
Do you really become aware of God’s
innumerable blessings in your life?
Do you take it for granted all the
comforts that come in your life?
Can you at times open your eyes to
the worst miseries of life in this world? War,
earthquakes, floods, violence, killings, poverty?
Do you become sad because others are
better than you?
Are you really concerned with your
spiritual growth, which happens when you are
grateful to God?
Are you happy where you are? If not,
why? Find out the reasons behind your unhappiness
Begin to be grateful for your mind,
feet, hands, eyes, health etc. There are more than
500 millions who do not have all these bodily organs
for a comfortable life.
There are another 500 millions of
people who live in very poor conditions and are
happier than you, why?
Pray and find out the basic
dissatisfaction you experience; allow the spirit of
God to touch your dissatisfaction and begin to be
grateful to Him.
Make a deep meditation on rag pickers
who struggle to live yet at times they are happy
because they get something to fill their hungry
WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
Dear friend, my
homilies will be posted on Thursdays and you can benefit
them and if you need more resources, you could contact
Let us make this ministry
fruitful one so that the Word of God becomes a source of
joy for me and for you and help people become more aware
of its riches. You are also welcome to share your
feedback with me. Thanks and God bless.