Homily: Christmas Day

Wednesday 25 December 2018

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
There’s a scene towards the end of the first Jurassic Park movie where the intrepid scientists come across a nest of cracked-open egg shells. All the dinosaurs were supposed to be sterile, so no hatched eggs should have been possible. But there they were; birth had occurred. As the Jeff Goldberg character put it: “Life will find a way.”

Life indeed will always find a way. Right now, a block away from here at St Vincent’s, there’s probably a child being born. That child’s mother – and please God the father – will see for the first time what has already been a hidden hope for them. That hope will generate a powerful love, which we all hope will last a lifetime. A baby born; hope found; love awakened. Every baby born comes with the promise that life is always stronger than death; life will find a way. That is the gift of every new life; it is the gift of hope.

At Christmas we remember one baby born: one life, stronger than any death; one life, who found the way to each of us; one life that is our reason for hope. Jesus is God’s gift of himself as a hope for our world. The birth of God’s Son was not about giving the world a new thing or idea or plan. Rather, the nativity of Jesus is about a new life, which has ignited the flame of hope in each of our lives.

How, then, might we welcome in our time the enduring gift of hope, made visible to us in a baby? Without a doubt, no one would think that hope is not worth welcoming into our lives. When there is so much that brings us down, hope is what lifts us up. When past regrets weigh heavy upon us, hope points us towards a future worth pursuing. To make room for the birth of Jesus in our lives is to welcome into our homes a life worth living.

Yet, might we not be at times like the inn keeper, unable to find room for the one who comes among us? We become so preoccupied with the ways of the world around us that we struggle to make space for the one we long for. We fill ourselves with passing things and trending ideas, while leaving little room for what is genuinely good, true and beautiful. The birth of Jesus is not just one moment in time; it is our moment in time. When the moment comes for the birth of this child of God into our lives, will we find room to let Him in?

This is the amazing thing about what we celebrate at Christmas. It is the time when God wants to come to us, but we get to decide if he is to be welcomed into our space and time, into our homes and lives. Christ comes to be with us – defenceless; dependent, precious. We come to be with Christ by choosing to welcome, protect, and defend this child. Amazingly, God has entrusted the gift of himself to us, that we might find our hope in him.

At a time when our institutions – political, social and religious – are badly damaged, it is the person of Jesus who can bring a renewed reason to hope. No structure, no idea, no social plan or political manifesto will ever save us. We hope in a person, not in a thing. It is the person of Jesus Christ who opens up to new horizons of hope. Today/tonight, I invite you to look beyond the crowded inn that clogs up your life, and look instead towards that simple stable where you will find room to grow. Look to the birth of Jesus, and find your way in life.

Friends, believe in Jesus Christ, born from God and born of Mary. He is offering us his life so that we might find our lives in him. He, and no other. Never lose hope in the birth of Jesus Christ and the invitation to follow him, for in his life we will find a way. Happy Christmas.
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