Quote of the Week
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace (Luke 2:14)
The Nativity of the Lord Christmas
25th December 2016
1st Reading / Isaiah 7: 10- 16; 9: 1-7
A reading from the Book of Prophet Isaiah: Barikh-Mar
And the Lord spoke further to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign for yourself from the Lord your God, from the depths below, even to the heights above. And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, for I will not tempt the Lord.” And he said: “Then listen, O house of David. Is it such a small thing for you to trouble men, that you must also trouble my God? For this reason, the Lord himself will grant to you a sign. Behold, a virgin will conceive, and she will give birth to a son, and his name will be called Immanuel. He will eat butter and honey, so that he may know to reject evil and to choose good. But even before the boy knows to refuse evil and to choose good, the land that you detest will be abandoned by the face of her two kings. In the earlier time, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali were lifted up. But in the later time, the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, the Galilee of the Gentiles, was weighed down. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. A light has risen for the inhabitants of the region of the shadow of death. You have increased the nation, but you have not increased the rejoicing. They will rejoice before you, like those who rejoice at the harvest, like the victorious exulting after capturing the prey, when they divide the spoils.
For you have prevailed over the yoke of their burden, and over the rod of their shoulder, and over the scepter of their oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every violent plunder with a tumult, and every garment mixed with blood, will be burned up and will become fuel for the fire. For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given. And leadership is placed upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called: wonderful Counselor, mighty God, father of the future age, Prince of Peace. His reign will be increased, and there will be no end to his peace. He will sit upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to confirm and strengthen it, in judgment and justice, from now even unto eternity. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall accomplish this……Amen.
2nd Reading /Galatians 3: 23- 4:1- 7
A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to Galatians: Barikh-Mar
Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise. I mean that as long as the heir is not of age, he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything, but he is under the supervision of guardians and administrators until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were not of age, were enslaved to the elemental powers of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father”!
The grace and peace be with you all brothers. Amen.
Gospel Reading/Luke 2: 1-20
A reading from the Gospel of Saint Luke:
And it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, so that the whole world would be enrolled. This was the first enrollment; it was made by the ruler of Syria, Quirinius. And all went to be declared, each one to his own city. Then Joseph also ascended from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to be declared, with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. Then it happened that, while they were there, the days were completed, so that she would give birth. And she brought forth her firstborn son. And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. And there were shepherds in the same region, being vigilant and keeping watch in the night over their flock. And behold, an Angel of the Lord stood near them, and the brightness of God shone around them, and they were struck with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: “Do not be afraid. For, behold, I proclaim to you a great joy, which will be for all the people. For today a Savior has been born for you in the city of David: he is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the celestial army, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” And it happened that, when the Angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us cross over to Bethlehem and see this word, which has happened, which the Lord has revealed to us.” And they went quickly. And they found Mary and Joseph; and the infant was lying in a manger. Then, upon seeing this, they understood the word that had been spoken to them about this boy. And all who heard it were amazed by this, and by those things which were told to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told to them.
Priest: Glory be to God for ever...People: Glory be to the Christ Our Lord
Prayers of the faithful
The response is: Lord hear our prayer
1- For the Holy Father and the bishops who assist him: that their life, teaching, preaching, and pastoral care will proclaim the saving Event of the Incarnation to all: Lord hear us.
2- For our political leaders and all who assist them in governing our country: that they will be strengthened to lead our nation in the ways of enduring righteousness and freedom: Lord hear us.
3- For lasting peace throughout the world: that the com ing of the Prince of Peace will put an end to all enmity and division, and unify the peoples of the world: Lord hear us.
4- For families: that the graces of Christmas will draw family members together in lasting bonds of love : Lord hear us.
5- For the poor, the homeless, the unemployed, and all refugees: that Jesus Christ, who came into the world as one who was destitute and marginalised, will res- cue the needy and show them his love: Lord hear us.
6-That all Christians will be serious in responding to the universal call to holiness by living their faith with fervour and integrity: Lord hear us.