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12/25/15 Nativity of the Lord - Deacon Ron

Homily Summary for The Nativity of the Lord — Youth Mass    Deacon Landry

Please join me in a somewhat unusual, but very special exercise. First, we refer to the gospel of the Annunciation. At the hour of midnight—March 25th—when the Archangel Gabriel appeared before a teenager, a virgin, and asked her to become the Mother of God. He says, "The Lord is with you." Gabriel is telling her that she is pregnant—with God. Imagine ladies, that this is occurring to you—not the Blessed Mother. Imagine this is happening to you.
Since we were little kids we've heard these stories from the Bible, but they can be diminished to just that—stories. However, these events really occurred—and to real people. How would you react to this vision that appears in the middle of the night. You have no idea what this vision is. Is it a ghost, or perhaps an evil spirit come to trick you? After all, you know that you have had no relations with a man—so it's not likely your first reaction would be to assume this messenger is an angel delivering a message from Almighty God.
Sacred Scripture tells us that the angel Gabriel said, "Do not be afraid." We're told that Mary was "greatly troubled." But Mary's response is, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” What extraordinary faith must it have taken for this teenager to surrender herself so totally to the will of Almighty God?
That brings us to this evening's gospel from Matthew. So gentlemen: imagine that the woman to whom you are betrothed, with whom you have had no relations, a woman who you love and respect, comes to you and announces that she's... pregnant. As you attempt to come to terms with this shocking revelation, as in anger you try to imagine with whom she betrayed you, she declares that it is by the Holy Spirit.
Joseph devoutly followed Mosaic Law and decides to divorce Mary, but quietly to spare Mary the scandal. Gentlemen: you have been betrayed, your heart has been broken. Would your first impulse be compassion?
Joseph is advised in a dream not to be afraid to take Mary into his home. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. What extraordinary faith must it have taken for this man to surrender himself so totally to the will of Almighty God?
On the eve of the celebration of the birth of our Savior, it is most fitting to turn our attention to the young people here. You are the future of the Church. 
And my question to the young people here that practice their Catholicism in today's society is: What extraordinary faith must it take for you to surrender yourself so totally to the will of Almighty God? Faith is difficult for everyone. Not because we don't try hard enough, not because we aren't good people. It's because we are people. Virtually everything we experience in our life is with our senses. 
Faith as belief, and trust in, and loyalty to, God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; and firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust. My brothers and sisters in Christ: faith in God does not mean that we will never suffer from fear, sadness, doubt, anger, betrayal, pain—emotional or physical, or any other realities of life. We all experience these. What our faith does guarantee us, however, is that we are never alone. And we are always important and loved. Unconditionally. Jesus Christ came in part to assure us that. 
This Christmas ask for the most precious gift there is: faith. Always remember that we have been given free will by our Creator. If we want faith, we must ask God for it. If you ever have difficulty having faith that Christ would do anything to help you, simply gaze upon the crucified Jesus on the Cross.


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