15 December 2011

On Christmas homilies

With the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (a.k.a. Christmas) now just one novena away, the thoughts of many priests will soon turn to their Christmas homilies.  "What should I preach about this year?" they ask themselves.  "What did I preach about last year?  Did anyone listen?  Will anyone listen this year?"

Last year one of my former students described what he wants to hear from a Christmas homily:
I want to hear of the mystery that is Jesus Christ, the kenotic baby in a trough. I want to hear the obvious alignment of things like Bethlehem (which means "the house of bread"), being born in a manger (a trough, coming from Latin for "to eat"), tying that to the fact that Christ came to die for us, to leave us Himself in the form of food (the Eucharist, the Bread of Life), to subject Himself to each and every pain of humanity, bar sin [more].
I'm happy to say that I've preached about some of this in 2006 and in 2009.  Whether he heard these or not, I do not know.

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