KATÓLSKA KIRKJAN, Tórshavn, Føroyar  (Faroe Islands)

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Homily - Christmas 2018


You who are present her in the church this night and you who are listening to this midnight Mass over the radio are doing so, because Christmas means something holy to you, otherwise you would not have made the effort to be here or to listen over the radio. You sense in your soul, that Christmas is much more than just concerts, gifts, parties, food and family get togethers. If Christmas wasn’t more than these, it would leave you with a feeling of emptiness. But we know what gives Christmas real content, which makes it a holiday with genuine meaning for one’s life and more so for one’s death, is the reality that a very extra-ordinary man was born in a little cave in a field outside the small town of Bethlehem in a little known country in the Middle East more than 2000 years ago. This man has the greatest meaning for all the world up to our very own day. In fact, our time is counted from before his birth and after his birth. But the strongest witness to this person’s enormous meaning and influence is the fact that millions and millions of people all over the world throughout 2000 years have endured the worst forms of torture and the most brutal methods of execution for his sake rather than deny him. In our own day 2018 there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people persecuted for his sake every single day.

Who is this man, who has such tremendous meaning for and power over so many people? We know who he is. Indeed, our entire western culture and many other cultures in the world are built upon him, not just his teaching but first and foremost upon his person. He was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth in Galilee, proclaimed by John, the son of Zachary and Elisabeth, as the promised Messiah, mankind’s Saviour, the King for whom all of humanity from the earliest times have sighed for to come to bring lasting justice and peace to earth, and whose kingdom will never end. He is the man, looked at from a purely human perspective, whose life was a total failure, since he was condemned to death as a blasphemer by the highest religious authorities of his own people and executed in the most horrible way by the power of Rome for being perceived as a great threat to the Roman empire.

How can such a man, who lost all and thereby crushing the hope of many in his day, inspire us, living today in our part of the world, to celebrate his birthday, and not just celebrate it, but celebrate as one of greatest joy-filled events in the history of the world. The answer is revealed to us from Heaven. The man is God Himself, the almighty, the completely other, the God, upon whom the entire Universe and every single atom in it, are completely and totally depended. He was conceived in the womb of a young woman and born of her. He is the God with whom every human soul longs to be totally united in perfect harmony and peace. He is absolute truth, perfect goodness and unimaginable beauty, who satisfies the deepest thirst in every single human heart. He is the God, who became man in order to bring Divine justice and peace to mankind on earth, and He does so by suffering total defeat. Yet His horrible death in reality was the complete victory over Satan and powers of Hell. His death opened man up to an entire new life by rising from the dead, an event which is the greatest ever in the history of the world.

He is Jesus from Nazareth, Mary’s son, God’s anointed King, Priest and Prophet, the promised Messiah, who has come to save man. He is the only one who fills human life with complete purpose, and leads man to the goal of life, eternal unity with the Father in Heaven. He is the man, whose birth we celebrate this night. We must celebrate it with great conviction and by standing firmly in faith.

It is of the utmost importance that we Christians with all our heart stand firmly in faith that the child, Mary bore, truly is the only begotten Son of God, God Himself, who has come into the world to save mankind from sin and the darkness and slavery of Hell, in order to lift us up to the Divine level as His beloved adoptive sons and daughters. We must proclaim the true meaning of Christmas loudly and clearly both in word and especially in living a holy life of unselfish service to God and neighbour in self-sacrificing love.

By being here in this church and by listening to this Catholic Mass this night, all of us are expressing our faith in the truth that God’s only begotten Son has truly become man. He is the one born of the virgin Mary that night in Bethlehem. He is our God who has united Himself to us in an everlasting and unbreakable union. We place our faith in this fantastic truth and let it take up more and more of our consciousness and flow over into our everyday lives.

We acknowledge hereby, that God has come, that He is with us right now, that we put our complete trust in Him. Jesus is our true Saviour, Lord and God. This is the true meaning of Christmas.


Paul Marx,omi

parish priest