Bookmark and Share

Evangelium in the Christmas Season

Here are the homilies by Father Marcus Holden and Father Andrew Pinsent during Christmas/tide. From Sunday 1st December 2013, the Church will be in the liturgical 'Year A'.

You can subscribe to this Totus2us podcast here on the RSS web feed & here on itunes. Plus, you can download the free mp3 audio recordings individually by right/double clicking on the blue play buttons.

Christmas - the Nativity of the Lord

by Father Marcus Holden, in Year A      
Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter

"In this little child, God gives us the greatest gift in the world: the gift of Himself. It is the beginning of the solution and the mending of all things. Christmas tells us that God is with us and that He loves us. Few people perceive this and few people noticed this when He first came to this earth in the manger. Yet even from the stable He was changing the world from the inside. Christmas tells us that God is working and that He looks for you and for me. But we are often very hard to find and very hard to reach. Perhaps the saddest line in all of history is: "There was no room for Him in the inn." .. One of the most moving carols is In the Bleak Midwinter which asks "What shall I give Him, poor as I am?" Well, what does He need? He doesn't need anything, He created the entire universe. .. But there is one thing that He can't force, that he won't force, that He really does want - our love. What can I give Him? Give Him my heart. Make room in your hearts for the Son of God. He comes for each one of us, He seeks our hearts and that is what He is interested in."

by Father Andrew Pinsent, in Year B      
Carol - Away in a Manger

"I invite you to picture in your minds eye the image of the stable, with representatives of every aspect of God's creation gathering around the manger: the child's mother Mary, her husband Joseph, the shepherds who have come in from the fields, the Wise Men shortly to arrive from the East, the ox and the ass who know their Master's crib and the star in the sky. They have come to Bethlehem not simply to revere the birth of a great man, some future prophet or world leader, they have come to worship God Himself; they have come to gaze on the face of God, God-made-Man for our salvation."

Readings: Gospel: John 1:1-18: 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.

by Father Marcus Holden, in Year B      
Carol - Away in a Manger

"We're made for the lights of eternity, we're made for God. God became man, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. He became one with our humanity, not with an animal, a plant or even a planet. He became one with us and it tells us about ourselves that we're made for him and our hearts will be restless until they rest in him. Lets allow him on this night to subvert us! To enter clandestinely as a warrior into our soul, to break down and topple all those idols, all those false things that hold us back, because he will bring light. O Christian realise tonight in the wonder of the manger your nobility. Amen."

Readings: Gospel: Luke 2:1-14: .. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

The Epiphany

by Father Marcus Holden, in Year A      

"What the Wise Men did as the first Gentiles did meeting the Lord, we too do every time we come into His real presence in the Eucharist in the Mass. It is as if that moment of the Epiphany, when the Wise Men bowed down and worshiped Him, is caught in time, or rather we join in with them as they are shown the Christ and adore Him. They are the first adorers and then millions and millions join in over the centuries. We are part of the great even of the Epiphany: Jesus is shown to us and we are called to the same spirit of adoration. Epiphany means 'to show forth' and in the Mass and in Eucharistic adoration Christ is still shown forth."

by Father Andrew Pinsent, in Year B      
Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter

"Today we celebrate the first disclosure of the Son of God to the gentiles, to the non-Jewish people, to Magi or Wise Men from beyond the borders of ancient Israel. These men probably came from Persia, the area today known as Iran. .. But we know little about these men except that they must have had remarkable humility. In their search for truth, they were prepared to go wherever they were guided by the star. They left their country and travelled first to Jerusalem and finally to a humble dwelling in Bethlehem, and when they saw the child Jesus with his mother Mary, the Bible records an extraordinary action: these wise men, presumabely notables of some wealth in their own country, fell to their knees and worshipped. They worshipped because they had an epiphany or theophany. In the face of Christ, they recognised the face of God-made-man."

Readings: Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12: After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

by Father Marcus Holden, in Year A      

"John's baptism was a baptism of repentance, of preparation. Jesus's baptism is one of power and spiritual effect. Jesus went to John to be baptised not because He in any way needed baptism; the sinless Son of God needed no forgiveness of sins nor new life. He goes to John to reveal Himself to the world and to John, and to show that he has fully entered into our world, he shows us also how we must follow. One of the duties that comes with baptism is the duty of mission: because we have been given so much, we're expected to help others to benefit too. This is what God desires and this is what we're called to: freely you have received, freely give."

Today's Readings: Gospel - Matthew 3: 13-17 - “.. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”"

by Father Andrew Pinsent, in Year C      

"So it is Jesus who has made Baptism effective and life-giving for us, and by submitting to Baptism, He leads the way for us to follows. He teaches us the humility to make use of the Sacraments in the way they have been given to us. He teaches us that Baptism washes away sin, opens heaven and enables us to know and to love the Most Holy Trinity.

Let us thank the Lord for opening the way to our salvation through Baptism. May Baptism bear its proper fruit in all of us, so that one day we may see the face of God in Heaven."

Readings: Gospel Luke 3:15-16.21-22: .. After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."