Christmas 2022 Homily
There is a saying which I agree with, and the Knights of Columbus even have magnets for cars that say this phrase - “Keep Christ in Christmas”
Again, I agree that we should Christ in Christmas, but it is important to also say “Keep the “Mass” in Christmas.” The -mas at the end of Christmas means “Mass” just like we have "Michaelmas", which is a Mass in honor of Saint Michael the Archangel, and “Candlemas” which is a Mass where we process into Church with lit candles in honor of Mary bringing the Christ Child, the true light of the world, into the temple for the first time, so as well we celebrate tonight “Christ’s Mass”.
The event that we remember and celebrate tonight was Jesus being manifested to the world for the first time 2,000 years ago, and so as well, on this altar, at this “Christ’s Mass”, when a priest says the Words of Consecration over bread and wine, they instantly become Christ once again manifested to the world. And so it is good to be here with you tonight!
I would like to tell a brief story about Poland, and a Christmas Midnight Mass.
In 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland, which triggered WWII. The same day that WWII ended in 1945, Poland found itself behind the iron curtain, now under the brutal oppression of the Communists. So Poland suffered brutally for decades.
I mention all of this to say that in 1959 a young bishop Karol Wojtyla, who would become St. Pope John Paul the Second, started having a Christmas Midnight Mass OUTSIDE in a city that had been built by the Communists, and that Christmas midnight Mass was usually well below zero like it is tonight.
100,000 Poles showed up for that first Christmas midnight Mass, outside…imagine that…100,000 people outside, below freezing temperatures, but they were there for Mass 100,000 strong, and the Polish people showed up at every subsequent Christmas Midnight Mass until the Communists relented and in 1977 the Ark Catholic Church was built, the only time a Communist nation has allowed a Catholic Church to be built.
It is well below zero tonight, but we are here celebrating Mass.
In our world today Communism and Socialism are once again on the ascendant, but just like Herod, just like Pontius Pilate, and just like the rulers and lords of our day, every ruler who runs up against the Christ Child is doomed.
The Devil and the Communists and Socialists play the long game, but God’s plan is prior to their plans…Christ’s plan existed before the world was even created!
We rejoice tonight at the birth of our savior Jesus, as He once again appears on our altar tonight. We gather this night and at every Mass to give thanks for the greatest gift of all time…the gift of Jesus Christ.