Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel (Vigil Mass)

Key words and phrases:  she was found with child, angel ... appeared to him in a dream, Emmanuel, Joseph ... did as the angel of the Lord commanded

To the point: In the beginning of this gospel Joseph is in the dark: he does not know how Mary has become pregnant. When God intervenes through a dream, Joseph sees clearly that he must do “as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” This new light of understanding is the revelation of the mystery of Emmanuel, “God is with us.” What a glorious revelation this is! What a glorious light this is!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass at Midnight)

Key words and phrases:  went up from Galilee, the time came, no room for them, glory of the Lord shown around them, Glory to God in the highest

To the point: Joseph and Mary must have been beside themselves, arriving at Bethlehem to find “no room for them in the inn.” They accept the kind offer of a stable where, in its little light, the great Light of the world is born and the “glory of the Lord” shines forth. Light and glory shine forth in the humble birth of “a savior ... who is Christ and Lord.” May that Light and glory shine forth always!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass at Dawn)

Key words and phrases:  Let us go, made known to us, When they saw, made known the message, glorifying and praising God

To the point: Enlightened by the revelation of the angels, the shepherds go “in haste” to find the Light of the world. Finding this Light “lying in a manger,” they hasten to make him known to all whom they meet. Like the shepherds, we too must hear the revelation and hasten to find this same Light of the world. We too must make him known to all whom we meet. The Light shines. Let us be on our way!

Focusing the Gospel (Mass during the Day)

Key words and phrases:  In the beginning, the Word was God, this life was the light, shines in the darkness, From his fullness we have all received

To the point: God’s Word is an eternal word, present at the beginning of creation and present to us now. God spoke a creative word “In the beginning,” incarnated a glorious Word at that first Christmas, and continues to speak to us a saving Word, the “only Son, God.” May this Word be for us the “true light” that leads us to the fullness of grace and truth.

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson