Christmas Eve | iPray with the Gospel
Zechariah said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he swore to our father Abraham.”
The natural response to the season we start tonight is to sing. Elizabeth sang the Hail Mary; Mary sang the Magnificat; Zechariah sang the Benedictus. A noted poet was once asked in an interview if he could explain one of his poems ‘in ordinary terms.’ He replied with some feeling, ‘If I could say what I meant in ordinary terms I would not have had to write the poem.’ Christmas is a song, a poem. The fulfilment of God’s promise is the loveliest chant ever. Even Angels came to sing it. Because the Mystery of the Love of God lying on straw in a manger cannot possibly be spelled out ‘in ordinary terms.’
Tonight is Christmas again. God’s Word will be there, in Person, as a newborn Baby, between His beautiful Mother (my Mother too) and Joseph, (her young, faithful and fearless husband), with an ox and a donkey, and you and me. A silent night. A stillness that allows us to hear the song of Angels and accompany them. We start singing tonight and will carry on singing for the whole season, because there is no way to thank God for His Incarnation in just ‘ordinary terms.’
“Again and again the beauty of this Gospel touches our hearts… Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me” (Pope Benedict XVI). Mary, Mother of God, let me be at your side tonight, with Joseph, to contemplate your Baby-God.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).