DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     December 28, 1998     vol. 9, no. 249

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN, 25 (NE) "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy. ... For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord." With these words taken from the Gospel according to Luke, Pope John Paul II expressed to all Catholics throughout the world the joy for the great event of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. "Praise becomes a prayer which rises from the hearts of the throngs who on Christmas Night continue to welcome the Son of God," said Peterīs Succesor during his hommmily in the tradtional Christmas Midnight Mass.

          To all the pilgrims gathered together with the Vicar of Christ in Saint Peterīs Basilica to celebrate the coming of the Lord, the Holy Father said that "in the Word Who becomes man the miracle of the Incarnate God is made manifest. The mystery sheds light on the event of the birth: A baby is adored by the shepherds in the lowly stable, at Bethlehem. He is `the Savior of the world, Christ the Lord,' (cf Luke 2:11). Their eyes see a newborn Child, wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger, and in that sign, thanks to the inner light of faith, they recognize the Messiah proclaimed by the Prophets."

          "This is Emmanuel, God-with-us, Who comes to fill the Earth with grace. He comes into the world in order to transform creation. He becomes a man among men, so that in Him and through Him every human being can be profoundly renewed. By His birth, He draws us all into the sphere of the divine, granting to those who in faith open themselves to receiving His gift the possibility of sharing in His divine life."

          "The coming of Christ among us is the center of history, which thereafter takes on a new dimension. In a way, it is God Himself Who writes history by entering into it. The event of the Incarnation thus broadens to embrace the whole of human history, from creation until the Second Coming. This is why in the Liturgy all creation sings, voicing its own joy: The floods clap their hands, all the trees of the world sing for joy, and the many coastlands are glad."

          "Christ is born for us. Come let us adore Him. My thoughts already turn to Christmas next year when, God willing, I shall inaugurate the great jubilee with the opening of the holy door. It will be a truly great holy year, for in a completely unique way it will celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the event and mystery of the incarnation in which humanity reached the apex of its calling. God became man in order to give man a share in His own divinity." The Holy Father added that, "This is the good news of salvation. This is the message of Christmas! The Church proclaims it tonight by means of my words too, for the peoples and nations of the whole Earth to hear. Christu natus est nobis. Christ is born for us. Venite adoremum. Come, let us adore Him."

Article above provided by Noticias Eclesiales at Church News Noticias Eclesiales is not affiliated with the DAILY CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the DAILY CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 28, 1998       volume 9, no. 249


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