Mass of The Nativity of The Lord
Fr. Anthony Le
Have you ever wondered why the church, for a very unique and special reason asking all those Catholics should go to church at least once a week, and go to confession at least once a year. How have you ever wondered why I wanted to share with you the reason through the lens of this Christmas by telling you a tale of two marriages?
The first marriage has to do with the book of Genesis. in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we witness the first human marriage. Remember how God created everything, Adam was the guardian of that beautiful creation. He was not satisfied, he was sad, and God put him to sleep. And out of his rib, he made a woman and presented it to him. And he was so happy, he shouted out loud "at last, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh". And together they unite and the good lord gives them a command "be fruitful and multiply". That was the first marriage God himself officiated. That was the first marriage in which God joined men and women together. and yet the serpent came, the serpents showed up and planted the seed of doubt. The seed conceived by a malicious word of lie. Eve felt forward, Adam stood by silently. Eve ate it, Adam did not prevent his wife from doing so. Eve gave it to him, he did not say no, he said yes, and he ate it himself. When the Lord discovered them, they hid themselves. They ran and they felt ashamed. That was the tale of the first broken marriage. Started out beautiful, yet destroyed by the very cunning serpent with the lies he told.
Now the second marriage has to do with the last book in the Bible - "The Book of Revelation". In this book, there is a beautiful marriage between the Lamb of God, the Lamb of God who was on the throne, and 144000 people dressed in white from every corner of the world. praising, singing, and attending the banquet of the Lamb, the feast, the wedding Feast of the Lamb.
My dear brothers and sisters, these two marriages, the first was broken by sin, the second restored and United by the very promise God made. If you and I pay attention throughout the Advent season, a lot of readings have to do with marriage. For example the prophet Isaiah describes God like a husband seeking out his wife. In the book song of songs, God is like a young man courting a young beautiful woman calling his people. John the Baptist, who is he? The best man, who came before announcing the present and the arrival of the bridegroom,. Oh, Jesus himself told the story of ten virgins five were wise because they carried the Lamps with oil waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. So my brothers and sisters, today the coming of the Lord is the Fulfillment of the promise made to both Adam and Eve, and to humanity - "I shall plan a rescue mission, an invasion of divine grace, that makes Humanity once again beautiful".
The good Lord had decided to look for a broken Human family. He wanted to be part of that, he wanted to rescue us from within, not from without. my dear brothers and sisters, If the message of Christmas today, at all for you and for me, it is this: that we should from now on pay attention to the sight of the beautiful invasion of Divine Life.
Pay attention in every ordinary thing of human life for the extraordinary presence of Christ of God himself. It's enough for us to fixate on the things of this world - politics, money making decisions, family issues, and all of that. Yet, we should pay attention to those and how about a little element of divine presence in those moments of life. Let's ask all of those who have gone before us, and see how Lord can we find you? How can we detect you? How can we open up to you? How could we fathom your presence without falling into the Trap of the cunning serpent like our first couple?
I'm here to present to you a few things. Perhaps I would like to answer the question I posed - why do we have to go on a Sunday mass? Why do we have to confess at least once a year? Precisely the reason that our lord Jesus is like a bridegroom going to court you and I, going to really date you and I, going to unite with us, go into mass is actually going to our own wedding Feast. Going to mass is only the best possible way we appear before Christ, appearing before the heavenly father. Asked him to marry us, we are the bride, he is the bridegroom. That's what he said. I am the head, you are the body. We are the church, we are his bride, and we only right appear before Christ as our husband. Once again pledge our loyalty, once again pledge our Thanksgiving, once again pledge our love for him. A married couple, you know how hard it is to live a married life, and how beautiful it is when love is being lived out. When loyalty is honored, when Fidelity is carried out, that is exactly what happens at Mass. The Mass on Sunday, the occasion that we gather, is our wedding feast with our Lord. We at the altar, offer ourselves completely to him, and he to us. And at this moment, once again we fulfill the very promise and command of Our Lord; 'be fruitful and multiply, unite two into one". my brothers and sister, that is the definition of divine Union, that is the definition of the Christmas season that we come to encounter our husband, our Christ, Our Savior, our own companion on the road to eternal life.
In today's Gospel, Saint John mentioned that for those of us who believe in Jesus, we are also made possible sharers of Divine Life. my goodness, my brothers and sister, shall we fixate on the things of this world? Or should we also fixate on the things of Heaven? Knowing that human life is beautiful, we are worth dying and coming to us, we are worth everything our Lord has to offer. My good Lord, what could be more beautiful than that? no matter how ugly we are, no matter how broken our relationship, no matter how we think of ourselves, how little we think of ourselves, our Lord is saying: "you're worth it, I want to come to you ,I love you, love your dignity, love your beauty, I want to make it even more beautiful. I want you to know you are awesome, I want you to remember your sins are not the sum of who you are, your relationship, your broken relationship, your broken life, is not everything that you have, I have more to offer you.
Open wide your life, your relationship, and your secret life, I'll fill you with my presence, I fill you with my love, I fill you with grace. that you will no longer need anything else. Satan has Eve to conceive his word, twisted word, in her heart. Our Lord asks us to conceive his word with an open heart, with obedience, and with great Trust. And I hope we all have a great merry Christmas. If this season makes us feel generous in giving each other a lot more candies than usual, selling each other a lot more gifts than usual, or writing a lot of beautiful things than usual, should it be a normal thing for us to do. be generous, be open, be susceptible to Divine Grace all the time. Merry Christmas to all of you.
創世記的第一章記錄了人類的第一個婚姻。 它描寫了天主創造萬物，亞當是那個美麗世界的守護者。 但他並不快樂，心裡不滿足。於是天主讓他睡著了， 用他的肋骨造了一個女人送給他。 亞當非常高興，大聲喊道 “這才真是我的骨中骨，肉中肉”。 他們結合在一起，天主給了他們 “生育繁殖，充滿大地” 的命令。 這是天主親自主持的第一個婚姻，將男人和女人結合在一起。 然後蛇出現了，它播下了用惡意的謊言孕育出來的懷疑種子。 夏娃受了這謊言的影響，亞當默默地站在一旁。 夏娃吃了謊言的果實，亞當沒有阻止她。 夏娃將果實遞給亞當，亞當也吃了。 當天主在樂園尋找他們時，他們感到羞愧，就跑了躲藏起來。 這也是第一個破裂的婚姻。 它有很美的開始，卻摧毁在狡猾蛇的謊言下。
第二次婚姻的故事，是記載在聖經中的最後一本書 “默世錄” 中。 它記載了在寶座上的天主羔羊，與來自世界各個角落的144000名身穿白衣的人之間舉行了一個美好的婚禮。 他們以讚美，歌頌來參加羔羊的盛大婚筵。
這兩段婚姻，第一段因罪惡而破碎，第二段因天主的應許而得以修合。 在將臨期的讀經中，許多聖言與婚姻有關。 譬如說，先知依撒意亞將天主描述為尋找愛妻的丈夫。 在雅歌中，天主就像一個年輕的男人向一個年輕美麗女人求愛來呼喚祂的子民。 那麼施洗若翰呢？ 他是伴郎，在新郎出現之前宣布新郎和禮物的到來。 耶穌也講過十個童女的故事，五個是聰明的，她們拿著裝滿油的燈來等待新郎。 兄弟姐妹們，主耶穌的聖誕節是天主對亞當，夏娃，和所有人類應許的禮物：“我有一個拯救你們的計劃，我要賜下豐厚的恩寵給我的子民，使人類重歸完美” .
我們要在生活中的每一國環節裡來感受耶穌的臨在。 我們對世物，不論是政治、賺錢、或家庭都已經付出了足夠的關注。 我們也該努力在生活細節中找到耶穌的臨在。讓我們問問走過信仰這條路的人：你是如何找到主的？ 如何能察覺到主的臨在？ 如何才能向主敞開心扉？ 我們如何能避免像第一對夫妻那樣的落入蛇的陷阱，只因為忽視了救主的存在？
讓我回答我所提出的問題：為什麼我必需要參加主日彌撒？ 為什麼我必需每年至少辦一次吿解？ 讓我用婚姻做個比喻。因為主耶穌就是新郎，祂向你和我求婚，真心的要與我們約會，與我們結合。參加彌撒就是我們出現在基督和天父面前的最佳方式。我們去參加自己的婚宴。耶穌說他是新郎，我們是新娘。 祂是頭，我們是身體。 祂是教會，我們嫁給了祂。我們以配偶的身份出現在基督面前， 在彌撒中，再一次宣誓我們的忠誠，感恩，和對祂的愛。
已婚的夫婦們，你們了解維持婚姻生活是有多麼的困難，但當我們活出忠誠和純潔的愛時，婚姻又是多麼的美好。 這個愛正是彌撒中的愛。每星期的彌撒，是我們聚集在ㄧ起與主婚宴的ㄖ子。 在祭壇前，將自己完全獻給了主，主也完全的獻給了我們。 就在此刻，我們履行了天主給我們的命令； “生育繁殖，充滿大地，二人成為一體”。兄弟姐妹們，這就是神聖合ㄧ的意義，也正是聖誕節的意義。在永生的道路上，我們遇到了我們的丈夫、我們的基督、我們的救主、和自己的伴侶。
在今天的福音中，聖若望提到信主的人可以分享到主的神聖生命。 天啊，兄弟姐妹們，我們到底該專注於世事，還是專注於天堂上的事？ 知道人生是美好的，死亡也可能就在我們身邊，我們值得救主給我們提供的一切。 天主，還有什麼比這更美麗呢？ 無論我們是多麼的醜陋，人際的關係是多麼的破裂，不論我們如何地看底自己，我們的主還是說：“你是值得的，我要來到你的身邊，我愛你，我愛你的尊嚴，愛你的美麗，我要讓它變得更完美 。你那破碎的生活，並不是你的一切，我還有更多恩寵可以給你。
打開你的生活，你的人際關係，你的秘密，我會將它充滿了 愛和恩典。 主要求我們開放我們的心、以服從和信任來接受祂的聖言。 從此你再也不需要其他任何東西。我希望我們都有一個美好的聖誕節。 如果聖誕節讓我們慷慨地給更多的糖果，更多的禮物，或者寫出更美好的讚美，就把它當成常態吧。從今以後要更加的慷慨大方，更加敞開心扉，隨時準備接受天賜的恩典。 祝大家聖誕快樂。