Friday, December 25, 2009

Joyful & Triumphant

The Season of Light:
Christmas Day, The Nativity of Jesus
The Christmas 'Novena', Day 9

The Word:
(Scripture readings usually proclaimed at Christmas)
Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-25 (Vigil Mass)
Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (Midnight Mass)
Isaiah 62:11-12; Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20 (Sunrise Service)
Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18 (Christ's Mass)

Adeste fideles, laeti triumphantes;
Venite, venite in Bethlehem
Natum videte, regem angelorum

Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus Dominum

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant;
O come, ye; O come, ye to Bethlehem!
Come, and behold Him, born the King of angels.

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum,
Cantet nunc aula caelestium:
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus Dominum

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation!
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Gloria in excelsis Deo! (Glory to God in the highest!)

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

For He alone is worthy
For Christ alone is worthy
Venite adoremus...Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning!
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing
O come, let us adore him
Venite adoremus
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

--Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)
(18th Century)
Latin text and music - John F. Wade, English text - Frederick Oakeley

And so, the world is turned upside down once again.

A king, redeemer, savior (take your pick or all of the above) is born in the humblest of places.

And...most of the world at the time could have cared less.

Today, it is all too easy to not consider the wide range of unworldly events that have shaped and molded a chunk of humanity for all time. To do without it completely, though, would be sacrilege.

Besides, it would give those who are professed atheists one less major thing to complain about. (Now there's an oxymoron for you - professing that you don't profess to any particular spiritual or faith path, religious congregation, or the like.)

O holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night
Of the dear Savior's birth...

O holy night
When...something, something...Jesus
It is the night
Of the Christmas trees and pies

Jesus is born
And so I get a present
Thank you, Jesus for being born

Fall on your knees
O hear (Can't you hear?)
The angels'...something (VOICES!!)
O night divine
O night when I get presents
O night divine
O night...O holy night

--O Holy Night

19th Century carol
Original text by Adolphe Adam
Parody as sung by Eric Cartman in TV's South Park by Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Okay, this may be a bit of a stretch, but at least Eric thanked Jesus for being born and becoming the source of his holiday expectations. How many of us are thankful today for this time and place? Is it possible that a vast majority of us are so expectant of 'our fair share'(no matter how unfair or unbalanced that seems to someone else) that we fail to acknowledge that it came from somewhere else, no matter how much we may or may feel we earned it or are entitled to it?

When was the last time you thanked God just for being? Or at least, thanked someone in your life for being there for you? And, really meant it?

Today, Christians acknowledge a great gift - Emmanuel, God with us in the flesh and bone and sinews of humanity, and caught up in the web of human existence. For that alone I am thankful - although it took many years and the wonderful gift of loved ones and friends and colleagues for me to only begin to understand and appreciate the depth of such a gift.

The shouting and singing is over for now. Four out of five services in two days can tire a person out. I am truly excited yet calm, thankful and ready to move ahead. Now is the time to see how well that joy and cheer can be spread around.

Love and joy come to you
And to you your Christmas too
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year!

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