December 24, 2016 - Christmas Eve

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1:67-79 

This passage is called the Canticle of Zechariah and is said every day in the Liturgy of the Hours.  It is the song Zechariah sings at the birth of John the Baptist.

Tonight, at sunset, Christmas begins.  We will celebrate the fulfillment of prophecy.  I mean something bigger than the fulfillment merely of the prediction of Jesus’s birth by Isaiah.  Jesus is the culmination of something that began in the Garden of Eden when God sewed clothing for Adam and Eve who had become aware of their nakedness; and something that took another major step at Mount Sinai when God declared that they would be His people and He would be their God. Jesus is the Incarnation of God.  If Sinai was the adoption application, Bethlehem was the decree of adoption. Henceforth, God is not just on our side - God is with us.