Homily ·Advent
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
December 25, 2018

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1

Merry Christmas!

The night of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Tonight, God, the Creator of all that is alive, has become a man. The One who is eternal and beyond all time, has entered into human history.

The great God comes not in power, but in weakness. Not in glory, but in humility. Not to conquer, but to invite.

The Father Almighty comes to us as a Son — a tiny baby who cannot take care of himself, an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Jesus comes this way so that we will not be afraid of him. Do not be afraid, the angel tells the shepherds tonight.

Jesus comes this way so that we will realize that he is not a God who is far away from us — a God who is way up there in the heavens, and not concerned with our life here on earth.       

Tonight, heaven has come to earth. The glory of the Lord is shone to us.

God comes as a Child, so we can hold him in our arms, so we can love him. Just as Mary and Joseph did.

He comes this way so that we can look into his eyes, smile in his face. Who does not smile when we see a baby? Who does not try to make the baby smile?

This is why God comes tonight. He comes to ask for a place in your heart. He comes to ask you to love him.

God comes to us tonight as a light that shines in the darkness, the light that shows us the way to go, the way to live.

And he is calling each one of us to carry his light with us, wherever we go. He is calling his Church to carry his light to the ends of the earth. 

The light of his love — casts out the darkness of our hatred. In the light of his love, we can see the beauty of our neighbors. We can see that every person we meet is a child who is loved by God.

The Child in the manger shows us what every soul is worth. He becomes our Brother on earth, so we know that we are all children of the Father in heaven.

When we see someone in need, someone who is weak or suffering, someone who is inconvenient or a burden — we know we are looking at a brother or a sister.  

And tonight, we know that everywhere in the world, even in our own neighborhoods, there are people who are hurting; people who do not have a home or food to eat; people whose dignity is violated. This is not what God wants for his children. We know that.

So the love we show to this Child tonight, he is calling us to show to one another.

As he reaches down to lift up our fallen humanity, he is calling us to do the same for our brothers and sisters — especially the poor and the prisoner, the sick and the elderly, the refugee and the immigrant.

God does not come into our world making great demands. He comes in all simplicity, in all humility. He asks us to love him and he asks us to love those around us. That is all!

His plan for us is not complicated. Love him and love others. Do this and you will find joy in your life! Do this and your life will become a pathway to heaven!

So tonight this Child is calling us to follow him. God has come to us, so now we can go with him. Our God has become like us — so that we can be like him.

Tonight God is telling us: if you want to know how to live, follow the Child, grow with him. Imitate Jesus! Live like Jesus and you will know the joy that God wants for your life.

My dear brothers and sisters, no one is a stranger to this Child — and no one is beyond his love.

So, let us make time for one another. Serve one another. Listen to one another. Forgive one another. Do everything in your life — to be like Jesus. Do everything in your life — to make that Child smile.

Tonight, no matter who you are, or where you have been — you can have a new beginning. A new opportunity to live with love in your heart, with a joyful spirit.

On this holy night, ask Jesus to be born in your heart. Just ask him, he is waiting for you! Ask him to change you — so that you will be like him. Just as he came down to become human like you.

The Lord is truly with us. That’s why we are so happy. That’s why we are all here, celebrating the nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord is truly with us. Not only in this moment, but in every moment of our lives.

Heaven does not wait for us. Heaven has come down tonight! Eternity has been born in time. So tonight, let us start to build heaven here on earth, let us spend our time living for eternity. Then we will find that peace and joyt hat we are all looking for. Then we will be able to share that with our brothers and sisters, our families, the people that are close to use — but everybody.

Then, this will be Jesus’ kingdom of peace, truth, and love.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and may our Blessed Mother Mary help us, all of us, to always know the joy of God’s Christmas love.

1. Readings (Mass During the Night): Isa. 9:1-6; Ps. 96:1-3,11-13; Tit.2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14.

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