Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Nativity of the Lord – At the Midnight Mass

December 25, 2020
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 9:1-6
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 11-12, 13
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14

“In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.” The intention of Caesar was to count and to number those under his power as the Emperor of Rome. This census was a common experience for every person from every ethnic group throughout the Roman Empire. In so doing, Caesar imposed himself upon the people universally. In being forced to be enrolled, the people were reminded through the common experience of oppression and fear that they were to adhere to Caesar’s power as the universal emperor.

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Homily for the Nativity of the Lord – At the Vigil Mass

December 24, 2020
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

1 Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29
Titus 3:4-7
Matthew 1:18-25

For this celebration of the Vigil of Christmas, the Church offers for our reflection the annunciation of Saint Joseph as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. One of the noteworthy aspects of this reading is the silence of Saint Joseph. He responds to the announcement by the angel of the first Christmas with silence. The silence of Saint Joseph is not born of confusion regarding what this news means for Mary and for him.

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