KATÓLSKA KIRKJAN, Tórshavn, Føroyar  (Faroe Islands)

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MUSTARD SEED

(Sinnopskornið)

 

Homily - Christmas 2017

 

 

All of us who are here in this church this Christmas night and all who are listening over the radio, are aware of the event in history, that is being celebrated, namely, the birth of the intensely yearned-for saviour of mankind. We are also aware of the truth that the infant born this night in a stable in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago is no ordinary human infant, but Almighty God Himself in human flesh. Anyone, who seriously calls him or herself a Christian believes this truth. Yes, it is true, that the infant to whom Mary gave birth, is in reality God Himself. As the Scriptures and the Traditions of both the Eastern and Western Church have taught from the earliest days, God chose to become man, a real human being for 4 reasons: to save man from sin and the powers of hell, to reveal God’s unlimited and unconditional love for man, to give us a model of what it means and how to be a genuinely human being, and to make us His adopted sons and daughters, that is, to make us gods. All four reasons and especially the fourth one reveal to us the absolute worth and dignity of each single human being from the very first moment of conception.


 

That God chose to become man, to take on a human body, tells us that the human body demands absolute respect and can in no way be treated as an object to be used for whatever end. Each human person consists of spirit, soul and body and must always be treated as a subject to be respected and honoured for its own sake from the very first moment of conception until natural death. Each human person is created by God in His image and likeness and given an eternal destiny of oneness with God in total happiness in heaven. To be truly human, one must serve a good higher than himself, that is, he must serve God by serving his fellow human beings in unselfish love and self-sacrifice.


Unfortunately, our modern western society and culture have rejected this truth either willfully or out of ignorance or laziness. In fact, there’s a growing intolerance in many western countries for any display of the nativity scene in public places, even for saying Merry Christmas. Forces in the culture are demanding that any mention of Christ in connection with Christmas has to be eliminated, even the very word itself. Those, who are caught up in the rejection of God and Christ, are forcing their will and ideology on everyone. This is a fact of which we very much must be aware. Otherwise, there’s the great risk that every trace of Christianity will be forbidden in society and Christians persecuted.


I say this, because for every year that comes, the true meaning of Christmas and its authentic celebration will not only be more and more forgotten but suppressed. Therefore, it’s most important and urgent that we Christians, who truly believe that the son born of Mary, Jesus, is really the Son of God, God Himself come into the world to save man from the darkness and slavery of sin and the powers of hell, and to lift man up to the dignity of gods by participation as adopted sons and daughters of God, proclaim the true meaning of Christmas both by word and especially by a life of unselfish service to God and neighbour in self-sacrifice and self-giving.


We don’t celebrate just a remembrance of Christ’s birth. We celebrate and surrender ourselves to the truth that God became man as a reality that is on-going. God is still man today. Christ is seated with His human nature at the right hand of the Father in heaven. This truth gives us hope in this valley of darkness and tears, and a strong sense of our own worth and dignity.


Let it be seen by all, who see and hear us, that Jesus Christ, the son of Mary and the Son of God, is Lord. We listen to Jesus, who tells us to put our lamp on a lampstand so that all can see the light of our good deeds and thus praise the Father in heaven. In celebrating Christmas, we proclaim that Jesus, born of Mary as a human infant, is LORD!


 

Paul Marx,omi

parish priest