from: joachim omolo ouko
Father Omolo Beste’s Homily
Thursday, December 25, 2014
On this day the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. John describes the closeness between Jesus and his Father, his consideration and love for others and also his compassion, “the Lamb of God”, “the bread of life”, the light of the world”, “the fine shepherd”, “the true vine”, “the way the truth and the life” and “the resurrection and the life”
He is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
Jesus is the true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will.
On the other hand, Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah the one chosen by God to deliver the people from their sins. Matthew quotes the Old Testament extensively, and places special emphasis on Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecies—which would have been important to a Jewish audience.
The Gospel of Matthew is written for a Jewish audience, especially Palestinian Jews who were at the time oppressed by the Romans. One of Matthew’s main goals in his gospel was to prove that Jesus was the true Davidic Messiah–the king the Jews were expecting, who will deliver them from oppression.
Luke presents him as “the Son of Man”–not the Christ or King or God Incarnate, but distinctively the Son of Man. He is not talking only about coming to save lost people; he has come to save that which is lost. He came to the earth to be the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins; for every single person who has lived, or ever shall live.
He also came to destroy the power of the devil forevermore. Luke is portrayed him as one who loves every single person, in spite of how we may fail him. He also came to the earth to pay the price for everyone who will believe in him, to be healed from every sickness and disease.
Mark on the other hand distinctively presents Jesus as the suffering servant. For a gospel apparently written with a Gentile audience in mind, Mark does not begin his story of Jesus where we might expect. He doesn’t begin with Jesus’ birth, or his baptism, or with any other event in the first century.
Instead, Mark reminds the reader that the story of the gospel began many generations before when God made promises to the people of Israel. In other words, Mark does not present the Jesus as the start of a new story, but as the completion of an old one.
In the first reading taken from IS 52:7-10 Prophet Isaiah describes Jesus’ birth as beautiful, he is born to bring glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!”
The oppressed are crying together they shout for joy, for they see directly, before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion. He has come to redeem Jerusalem. He has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.
In the second reading taken from HEB 1:1-6 in times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
When he had accomplished purification from sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
In the Gospel taken from JN 1:1-18 John asserts: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him”.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
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