mardi, décembre 25, 2007

Sermon for the Midnight Mass

This night is most certainly a night of glitter, but it is a contained glitter which does not blind, but rather brings a softer light to the dark world. It is the light of a night in winter which comes to heat up the hearts of those who approach it, as a chimney fire which heats the bodies and warms the hearts. The crackle of the logs and the game of the fire which reflect like a Chinese shade are soothing and fascinating. Yet, let the fire amplify and it can become frightening.

It is precisely like the light of God that we contemplate tonight. It is a beautiful light which brings peace and joy and delights minds and hearts. But it is a contained light which does not show entirely the essence of God. It just reveals to us a little bit, just enough to sustain our faith, to arouse our hope and to kindle our charity. But the full light of God is not yet shown. It is not yet possible to see it now, because it would blind us. We are not able, in our present condition to see it. So God gives us just what we can receive. The light of the Incarnation shines from the shed of Bethlehem. It radiates in time and space for all men and all nations. It comes to enlighten mankind and to make it rediscover the brightness of God which is in it, but which has been concealed by sin. It comes to bring peace to all men of good will. Peace is not given to everybody, but to men of good will. Who are they?
By becoming a man, God came to the encounter of men of good will, those who finally accept the fact of the Incarnation. They are represented by the shepherds of the gospel, humble men who do not care for the honors of the earth, but are predisposed for the celestial approaches. Ignored by the princes of the world, they have been chosen by the angels to receive the great news of the Nativity. They are those little souls, with a spirit of childhood, who can accept the mystery of the Incarnation. They are those who give up all the theories of the world, the well conceived ideas of society and the slogans in fashion, in order to receive the good news of the Gospel. They are those who seek for the truth because they have made straight the way of the Lord in their souls.
The message of Christmas is first a message of humility given by God, Himself. The second Person of the Most Holy Trinity came into our world in the dispossession of the crèche. What man on earth could have imagined this? The ways of God are definitively not the ways of men, and this is good and comforting. Our God is a God of tenderness who can move the heart of the most obdurate person. He is a God of passion and of love, a God of humility and simplicity. He appears in a visible manner with the feature of a baby. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice in front of such a mystery.
Tonight we would like to participate in the sweet joy of creation which receives its Creator. Let this joy strengthen our faith and fill our hearts with the love of God. Let us join Our Lady and Saint Joseph in this celebration of the temporal birth in the flesh of the Incarnate Word. There is nothing else to say and only a God to love now. As Saint Gregory of Nazianzus put it, let the generation of the Word be honored by our silence.

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