Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Vigil

Matthew 1:1-25

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Roseanne Murphy

Published: December 24, 2015


Every morning, millions of people recite the Canticle of Zechariah praising God for raising up for us a mighty Savior who will “save us from our enemies” which God had promised through His prophets.

Perhaps this year, we will be inclined to say that prayer with more fervor than ever as we face the terrors plaguing our world.  The belief that we need Christ to save us from evil becomes more urgent whenever we read the morning paper and hear about the slaughter of Christians in Syria or Iraq or for that matter, the violence perpetrated on innocent people in our own country. Our faith is being tested to continue to believe that we can overcome evil with goodness and love.  John the Baptist would be the first one to tell us to “repent” and “believe” as the Lord has told us when the Lord gave us the Beatitudes. We do well to reflect on the oath God made to Abraham to “set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear.” 

We, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, may be called upon to “sing the goodness of the Lord” that we find in the Responsorial psalm with a little more vigor, even in the midst of stories that make it difficult for some people to believe. We encourage others to do the same!  We can earnestly plead with the “splendor of eternal light, sun of justice, to come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death” which we find in the response to the reading from Samuel. We are being called upon to lead people caught in darkness into the light of Christ.  This has always been our call, and  seems to be more urgent and more compelling right now.  

The prayers written for today’s liturgy were composed years ago, but it is not hard to think that someone might have inserted  the Collect prayer to apply to us today when they wrote, “Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, that those who trust in  your compassion may find solace and relief in your coming.”  Indeed, each Christmas we are reminded of the love God has for us by sending Jesus to us to save us from ourselves.  And this year, especially, our need for our Savior is all too apparent.  Christ brings us assurance of God’s love.  This is the cause of our joy at his coming.  It is with grateful hearts that we greet Jesus and raise our voices along with the shepherds and kings in praise of God.

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