The Joy of Christmas – by Father Gabriel Alkass
My beloved, yes, every time Christmas comes, it brings joy to our hearts. And that is why “Joy of Christmas” is the name of today’s sermon.
If we think about life before Jesus was born, the world, in general, looked to darkness, sadness, and lost peace. But after the Christmas light, “I am the light of the world,” Jesus said. And He brought us all divine peace and joy.
And anything divine is like nothing else beyond the world.
The Virgin Mary was the first person to receive this joy when the archangel said, “He will be great and will be called the son of the most high.” – Luke 1:32
So, from Christmas day on, joy pervaded St. Mary and St. Joseph’s hearts – they obeyed everything with joy, even though they suffered so much.
So, besides Mary’s joy, we saw the multitudes of angels at night before the shepherds. The angels were expressing their joy to the world and passing on the good news of Jesus’s birth and divine peace and joy. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men,” they said in Luke 2:14.
What a tremendous way of seeing a huge number of angels with human beings together, sharing the joy of Jesus’s birth, as we are doing today. So, my beloved, for us as well, to rejoice at Christmas, we must learn the humility of the great Christmas event.
To speak about humility with Christmas, I must bring what the Lord did for this great event. What more humility in the world can be done than seeing the King of Kings born in the flesh? Born in a small village called Bethlehem and in a simple manger surrounded by animals?
Therefore, whoever deserved to be part of that first Christmas were humble people. So, if we lose the meaning of Christmas humility – peace & joy – we can’t be reached. We can’t get to that joy of Christmas.
Unless I follow in His footsteps, I cannot get to his divine peace or joy.
His birth brought divine peace and joy to a world that needed it the most.
So, therefore, He set himself as the best example of humility.
Let me bring up the subject of humility with the three kings.
I don’t think anyone has ever heard of kings coming to worship the birth of a baby king. They were also very rich, and they left their responsibilities to offer gifts to the baby king. Herod, meanwhile, was a king who wanted to kill the baby.
What do we know about the three kings?
- God revealed to the three kings the newborn King of Kings. And also, he made them see Him. All of us want to see Jesus, right?
- The three kings were in power already. But God gave them the power of the word to preach when they return to their countries.
- They were materialistically rich, but God made the three kings rich in spirit.
- These kings were also world scientists, very smart people of their time. Today you see intelligent people stay away from the church. God gave the three kings knowledge that could lead them to heaven.
Each Christmas many wish to bring gifts to the Lord Jesus, as the three kings did. We all want the Lord Jesus to be with us. But today here’s the best gift to give to Jesus. Let’s do it together: pride.
Let all of us bring pride on a silver plate and bring it to Jesus and say, “this is my gift – you created me in your image, and yet how I can have pride?”
“And today, I bring my pride as a gift. Please do something about it.”
For the rest of the year, let’s focus on humility. Without humility, we are going to suffer.
Any Christian person may not have any Christian virtues, no love, or obedience – but if you have humility, that is enough to take you to heaven.
Do you believe that? Yes, I do believe that.
Remember, one day the archangel in heaven lost heaven because of pride. The same thing happened to our Adam and Eve. They lost that dignity – until the Lord Jesus came.
So, let’s be aware that pride is a very dangerous thing.
So, for 2023, let’s focus on humility. It will be a tremendous thing for the church to have and earn humility.
May the Lord give us this humility blessing through Christmas gifts to all of us. Amen, and Merry Christmas.
Learn more from Father Gabriel’s Christmas sermon here.
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