Sunday Readings

Lessons of peace. Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (A)

Joseph Evans comments on the readings for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord and Luis Herrera offers a brief video homily.

Joseph Evans-December 22, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

The night Our Lord Jesus was born, a great multitude of angels appeared to the shepherds, "who praised God, saying, 'Glory to God in heaven and on earth peace to men of good will'."or, in another translation, "in whom he delights". The word translated as "favor" or "pleased" is "eudokias". God was pleased to hide these things from the wise and intelligent and reveal them to simple children (Mt 11:26; Lk 10:21), just as good parents are pleased with their children's joy at receiving Christmas gifts. The same idea appears in the Baptism and Transfiguration of Christ: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.". God is pleased with his Son, and with children in general, or those who become children. He gives peace to those in whom he is pleased, because they have become children. He is pleased with those who have learned to be little, to trust in him, and do not depend on themselves. To them he gives peace. We must learn from the birth of Our Lord, the peaceful child in the manger, to be more at peace. "But I quiet and moderate my desires, like a child in its mother's arms; like a satiated child so is my soul within me." (Ps 131:2). We ask for the peace of little children. 

"Being children" -St. Josemaría taught. "You will have no sorrows: children forget the unpleasantness immediately to return to their ordinary games. -Therefore, with abandonment, you will not have to worry, since you will rest in the Father". (Camino, 864).

Christ is the "prince of peace". This is how Isaiah described the Messiah (Is 9:6). We read this text at midnight mass. The angels, as it turns out, celebrated his birth as the one who brings peace. Zechariah ended his hymn Benedictus announcing that the Lord, when He comes, that is, Jesus, will do it "guide our steps on the path of peace". (Lk 1:79). 

And yet, within days of Christ's birth, the devil attacked him, attacked the peace he brought through Herod's attempts to kill him. Herod did it because he had no peace in his soul, because his heart was gripped by fear.

But Jesus in the manger teaches lessons of peace. He does not attract by force, but by love. Jesus in the manger is a "professorial chair"as St. Josemaría used to say. We have many lessons to learn from him. We learn to win by attraction and not by imposition. We learn the humility of being weak, as our Lord was when he was a child and needed to be saved by others, by Mary and Joseph. From the beginning to the end He was the Savior who could not save Himself. "He saved others, he cannot save himself"the priests and the scribes mocked. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." (Mt 5:9). We can often look to the Child Jesus in these days to discover and deepen our peace, to become in him children of God.

The homily on the readings of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.

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