Our Gospel for today, the Nativity of the Lord, comes from Luke, Chapter 2, verses 15 to 20.

It has been said that Catholics only sing in church at Christmas. I am not sure this is true, but from my vantage point, I have to admit it does appear that on Christmas, everyone appears to be singing.

Who can remain silent when as entering the church we hear the strands of O’ Come All Ye Faithful. And t would not seem like midnight Mass if we did not sing Silent Night, Holy Night. What a peaceful, gentle picture that beloved carol conjures up in our mind.

But is it an accurate picture? Was it true then, or is it true now?

In truth, there was no peaceful silence in crowded, chaotic Bethlehem the night Christ was born. It was a hamlet bursting at the seams with visitors and travelers who had come for the great census. There was no calm in all of Israel – only tension and conflict between the Jewish people and their Roman occupiers.

Ancient Israel was hardly a place of Heavenly peace. It was, in fact, a land torn apart by oppression, persecution and terror. Madness reigned on that silent night. And yet, one that noisy, chaotic and anxious night, Christ our Savior was born.

Amid the pain and anguish of a devastated people, the Messiah came with a new hope and transforming joy. Even though our world today, centuries later, may seem far from silent; our personal lives far from calm and our futures far from bright.

We know with the birth of each child comes new potential, exciting dreams and a promise of hope. This year, as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, let us remember to pray and sing for peace on earth and goodwill to all. Because He has blessed our flawed and fractured world by walking upon it; by loving those in it; and by laying down His life for all those who pass through it.

Praised be Jesus Christ. Now and forever more. Amen.

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