Read Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96:1-13, Titus 2:11-14 and Luke 2:1-14

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Dear friends in Christ, we gather this great night to keep vigil like the shepherds who watched over their flock by night. Night is symbolic of darkness (absence of light). This darkness can also imply the absence of joy, love or peace. When sin reigns in our lives, we are in darkness.

The people to whom Isaiah prophesied in our first reading were a people in darkness. Isaiah prophesied that Christ, the world's light, would dwell in their midst and wipe out the darkness. The Angels announced this to the shepherds who kept watch at night: “For to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.”

Ironically, as this great news was being announced, Mary and Joseph were in a different kind of darkness - an obscure manger amid animals. No inn was available, and no one was kind enough to pity a pregnant woman and open their doors. Nevertheless, what God has said must come to pass. The absence of a dignified hospital could not stop the light of God from coming into the world.

We live in a country that is experiencing various forms of darkness. Apart from the absence of electricity (that we are used to), there is also the darkness of poor leadership, hunger, and immorality. Across the country, people are groaning. There is no money, and there is no cash. This darkness is making many lose hope. Our prayer tonight is that just as God sent light to the world by the birth of His Son, He will send light again to Nigeria. Do not let your faith die.

When Jesus was born, it did not make the news. People went about their regular activities. God had to send the angels to announce the birth of Christ to shepherds watching over their flocks. Why shepherds? Why not the rulers and influential persons in towns? Announcing the good news to shepherds is symbolic. God Himself is our Shepherd, who has come to lead us by the hand.

Children of God, let us listen carefully to the message of St Paul in today’s second reading: “Live sober, upright and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, Jesus Christ, who gave his life to redeem us from all iniquity and make for himself a people who are zealous for good deeds.” _As we pray for God’s Divine light, let us know that God will not bring us out of the darkness of sin without our cooperation._ Repent from sin. Let your light shine.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, we are in darkness, come and save us. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Christmas Mass at Midnight. Bible Study: Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96:1-13, Titus 2:11-14 and Luke 2:1-14)

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu