December 25, 2021
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” 8 Hark, your watchmen lift up their voice, together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion. 9 Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. 2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6
1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to what angel did God ever say, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? 6 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Gospel: John 1:1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. 9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'”) 16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
Reflection for the day: “O Child so worthy of our love, I see You lying on the straw in this cave, so poor and despised. Yet faith teaches me, that You are my God come down from heaven for my salvation. I acknowledge You as my Sovereign Lord and Saviour, as such I proclaim You, yet, I have nothing at all to offer You. I am without love’s gold, since I have given my love to the things of this world – I have only loved my own whim, rather than loving You, so infinitely worthy of love. I am without prayer’s incense, since I have lived wretchedly without thinking of You. I have no myrrh of mortification since, so as not to forsake some paltry pleasures, I have so often saddened Your infinite goodness. So what am I to offer You? O my Jesus, I offer You my heart, soiled and naked as it is. Take it and change it, for You have come down to us to wash our guilty hearts with Your blood and so transform us from sinners into saints. O grant me that gold, incense and myrrh that I lack. Grant me the gold of Your holy love; grant me the incense that is the spirit of prayer; grant me myrrh, the willingness and strength to deny myself in all that displeases You… O holy Virgin, you welcomed those devout magi kings with keen affection and satisfied them. Deign to welcome and comfort me also, I who come, following their example, to visit and offer myself to your Son. Amen.” — St. Alphonsus Liguori