08 November 2007

Homily from Christmas 2002

Editor's Note: This is the second in this series of recovered homilies.

December 25, 2002

Preached by Father Robert Lyons at the Hospital Chapel

On this most holy occasion, as we gather together in this tiny chapel to celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Christ, I would like to offer a phrase for your consideration. A lovely woman introduced it to me a few months ago, and it is a phrase that brings me comfort each time I hear it. "Everything is Grace."

At this time of the year, we celebrate those things that, in everyday life, we often take for granted. Our families and friends, our good health and our good fortunes, and even our own salvation. Yes, many of us, myself included, find ourselves reflecting on the important things at this time of the year, and realizing just how much we have taken for granted. Too often we forget that each and every gift we have is an extension of the grace that we have received from above. There is no greater time to re-connect with that reality than today, as we commemorate the greatest gift of grace that we have received, that of Christ Jesus the Lord.

Today, as we sing our songs of celebration and praise, we also reflect on the fact that each and every gift that God has bestowed upon us is foreshadowed by the gift of his Son. It truly is grace. . . everything that we have, is it's byproduct.

Sadly, this day, many people are experiencing a false joy from presents, kisses under mistletoe, or too much egg nog. For them, grace does not enter into the equation. Christmas must never be about these things to the Christian. Christmas must be, as all things, an experience of grace. That being said, please don't presume to go home and nuke your tree and the presents you bought this year. . . just be sure that if you choose to follow that particular set of customs, that the true focus is Christ, and not the latest Elmo toy.

This Christmas is also grace for those who are ill or dying. The gift of another day for them is a gift of time for repentance, faith, understanding, or self-surrender. It's priceless, and I ask you to pray for our patients and our staff here at Wishard during this season.

This Christmas most likely will also hold memories for you. May your memories be grace, may your faith be strong, and may your joy grow ever more complete as we participate in hearing God''s word and receiving his Sacrament on this Christmas Day. . . a day where we are called to remember that every gift of God, on every day of the year, truly says to us, "Everything is Grace."

Have a most blessed Nativity, my friends. Merry Christ-mass.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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