Nativity of the Lord – Christmas (A)

December 25, 2022

INTRODUCTIONHOMILIESPAPAL HOMILIESCOMMENTARYECUMENICAL RESOURCESVIDEO ARCHIVEHOMILY STARTERSFAITH SHARINGCHILDRENMUSIC

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Agape Bible Study

Mass Readings Explained

Hearers of the Word

The Word Proclaimed Institute

Working with the Word

Integral Faith

WORD SUNDAY

courtesy of Larry Broding

GOSPEL

Jn 1:1

“the Word” “Logos” or “Word” (in English) had different cultural meanings in the ancient world. For Jews, the term “Word” was the vehicle for God’s revelation. In this sense, Jesus was the way God showed himself to the world.
For the general Greek population, the term “Word” was equivalent to wisdom, the principle of right living. But, as wisdom, the “Word” had a broader context; it was the principle the gods used to bring order to a chaotic universe. Hence, the “Word” created an order for the world, both a physical sense and a moral sense.
Jews who lived outside Palestine were influenced by Greek culture. In the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the term “Word” was used in both meanings. God used the “Word” to create the world (Ps. 33:6) and as a vehicle to reveal himself (Jeremiah 1:4; Ezekiel 1:3; Amos 3:1). In Proverbs 8:22-23, the “wisdom” of God existed with God at the very beginning of creation. In the deutero-canonical book, Wisdom of Solomon, “wisdom” had been personified as God’s companion. By the time John wrote his prologue, wisdom and the term “Word” were synonymous within the Judaism. The “Word” was a personal being as an agent of creation and revelation.
“the Word was towards God” The preposition “pros” (Greek for “toward” or “with”) has the meaning of “before” or “in the presence of” AND “in allegiance with.” In the ancient world, presence in a royal court entailed allegiance to the monarch.

Jn 1:1-2

These two sentences formed an “A-B-A” structure. A is “beginning…toward.” B is “the Word was God.” Using verbal bookends of existence and presence/allegiance, the equivalence of the Logos with God was emphasized. Clearly, John saw the Logos as divine.

Jn 1:3

The early Church held Jesus was the agent of creation. (See 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-16, and Hebrews 1:2).

Jn 1:3b

“That had come to be.” This phrase makes sense with either 1:3 or 1:4a. In the first instance, the translation would be “Everything through HIM came (to be) but without HIM not one thing came to be, that had become to be. In him was life.” In the second instance, the translation would be as stated above. Arguments for both translation are valid. The editors of United Bible Society which publish the definitive Greek New Testament study texts favor the phrase with 1:4a.

Jn 1:4-5

“life” meant “living in the presence of God” for John. In this sense, “life” was equivalent to “eternal life.”

Jn 1:5

“the dark did not seize it” The verb “seize” can also mean “grasp.” Like many of John’s word uses, the verb described a continuum between a lack of understanding (“grasp”) to violent opposition (“seize”).

Jn 1:7b-8

These two verses formed an “A-B-C-A” format. After stating the Baptist’s purpose, the evangelist restated it for emphasis (A: “so that he might witness concerning the LIGHT”). Then, he stated the result (B: “so that all might believe because of him”) and the Baptist’s identity (C: “That (man) was not the LIGHT”). He ended with the Baptist’s purpose (A: “but so he might witness to the LIGHT”). The evangelist used this form to contrast the roles of the Logos (in 1:1-2) and the Baptist. The Baptist was not the Logos; his witness was to cause faith in the Logos.
Used with Permission

ST. PAUL CENTER FOR BIBLICAL THEOLOGY

Christmas (A)

DR. SCOTT HAHN
AGAPE BIBLE STUDY

Christmas (A)

MICHAL E. HUNT
INTRODUCTION

CHRISTMAS VIGIL: The World Made Flesh

CHRISTMAS DAY: Share the Good News with Great Joy

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)
FIRST READING COMMENTARY

The Splendor of the Bride of God

In the First Reading, the prophet Isaiah uses marriage imagery to express the intimacy of God’s relationship with His covenant people. After the covenant people violated their covenant with Yahweh and experienced God’s divine judgment, the prophets longed for the day when God would symbolically take back the covenant people as the Bride of their Divine Spouse.  It would be a day when God’s redeemed people would experience their final salvation.  The symbolic image of marriage is the same imagery found in the New Testament where Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is His Bride.  Jesus will fulfill Isaiah’s hoped-for restoration of the covenant people in the Divine Bridegroom rejoicing in His Bride in the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and His Bride at the climax of salvation history.

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)
RESPONSORIAL PSALM COMMENTARY

The Davidic Covenant

The Responsorial Psalm recalls God’s eternal covenant with King David that his throne would endure forever.  Jesus son of David, Son of God fulfills the promise of the eternal Davidic covenant.  Jesus established His New Covenant Kingdom of the Church that is the eternal kingdom promised to the Davidic heir whose destiny was to bring salvation to God’s people who will “forever sing the goodness of the Lord” in their liturgy of worship.

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)
SECOND READING COMMENTARY

St. Paul’s Summary of History of Salvation

In the Second Reading, St. Paul gives a survey of the history of the covenant people from Israel’s divine election in the Exodus experience to the mission of Israel’s last Old Testament prophet, St. John the Baptist.  However, the focus of Paul’s message is on presenting Jesus as the promised Davidic Messiah who God raised from the dead to bring salvation to His people.

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)
GOSPEL COMMENTARY

The Genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth

In the Gospel Reading, St. Matthew delivers a revelation to his readers by announcing that the long-awaited Messiah, the one promised by the prophets to restore the kingdom of David, is none other than Jesus of Nazareth.  He presents a detailed and deliberately organized genealogy from Abraham to Joseph to establish Jesus’ legal line of descent from the father of the children of Israel and the great King David.  He concludes his proof of the line of descent by the claim that Jesus’ birth was a divinely ordained event.  He is not only the promised Davidic heir but the promised son of a Davidic virgin destined to bear the title “God with us.”

SOURCE: Agape Bible Study – Michal Elizabeth Hunt (Used with permission)
MASS READINGS EXPLAINED

Christmas (A)

YouTube player
DR. BRANT PITRE
SOURCE: CATHOLIC PRODUCTIONS | YOUTUBE
HEARERS OF THE WORD

Christmas (A)

VIDEO NOT YET AVAILABLE

PORTABLE COMMENTARY

DR. KIERAN J. O’MAHONY

VIGIL: The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
MIDNIGHT: Glory to God in the Highest
DAWN: Let us Go to Bethlehem
DAY: The Word Became Flesh

SOURCE: Dr. Kieran J. O’Mahony, OSA
THE WORD PROCLAIMED INSTITUTE
WORKING WITH THE WORD

Christmas (A)

Focusing the Gospel

In the beginning of this gospel Joseph is in the dark: he does not know how Mary has become pregnant. When God intervenes through a dream, Joseph sees clearly that he must do “as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” This new light of understanding is the revelation of the mystery of Emmanuel, “God is with us.” What a glorious revelation this is! What a glorious light this is!

Connecting the Gospel

  • To the First Reading
  • To Experience
SOURCE: The Sunday Website at Saint Louis University.

To dig deeper and look more closely at this Sunday’s readings, visit the links at right from the Sunday Website at Saint Louis University.

INTEGRAL FAITH

Christmas (A)

LAUDATO SI’ CONNECTION

God Coming to Us in Human Flesh

SOURCE: Catholic Climate Covenant and the Association of Unites States Catholic Priests

 

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads

Please be patient
as page loads