January 2, 2024

MESSAGE – First Sunday after Christmas – Year B – 31 December 2023

MESSAGE – First Sunday after Christmas – Year B – 31 December 2023

THEME: Embracing God’s Everlasting Love: A Mission of Joyful Living”

All the readings reflect God’s desire to make God’s self known to humanity, to bring salvation to women and men, and to bring us into relationship with God.


In Isaiah 61:10-62:3, we are reminded of God’s unwavering love for His people, a love that surpasses time and circumstance.

The prophet Isaiah declares, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”


This love is not confined to the pages of ancient texts but is brought to life through the birth of Jesus Christ, as articulated in Galatians 4:4-7.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Through Christ, we become heirs of God’s eternal promises, experiencing the transformative power of divine love.


In the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40, we encounter the devout Simeon and Anna, who recognized the Messiah in the infant Jesus.

Their lives were marked by patient anticipation, and when they beheld the Saviour, their joy knew no bounds. Simeon’s proclamation echoes through the ages, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.”


How do we apply these passages to our lives? The answer lies in living out the mission of Jesus.

God’s love calls us to embrace righteousness, to seek justice, and to extend mercy.

Just as Christ came to fulfill the law, we are called to live as children of the Most High, bearing witness to the redemptive power of His love.


As we embark on this mission, let us be clothed with the garments of salvation, recognizing our identity as beloved children of God.

Our lives are to be living testimonies to the world, reflecting the joy and hope found in our Savior.

We are called to be agents of transformation, just as Simeon and Anna were, recognizing the divine presence in our midst and sharing that revelation with those we encounter.


May we, like Simeon, depart in peace, having experienced the fullness of God’s faithful and everlasting love.

Let our lives be a resounding amen to the proclamation that the light has come into the world, and the darkness cannot overcome it.


Now the real work of Christmas begins:

  • As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us also remember the mission he entrusted to us: to love God and our neighbors, to serve the poor and the oppressed, to seek justice and peace, and to share the good news of his salvation. This is the real work of Christmas that begins now and lasts forever.
  • The joy of Christmas is not only in the gifts we receive, but also in the gift we give: ourselves. As we follow the example of Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served, we are called to offer our lives to God and to others. This is the real work of Christmas that begins now and never ends.
  • The light of Christmas is not only in the star that guided the Magi, but also in the star that shines in our hearts: Jesus. As we welcome him as our Lord and Savior, we are also sent to be his witnesses to the world. This is the real work of Christmas that begins now and continues until he comes again.


Archbishop Jeremy in his New Years’ Message says: “I encourage all parts of our Diocesan community to keep exploring new ways to connect and engage, as we build up one another and collectively demonstrate Jesus’ love to all whom we encounter.”


So, let us go forward and demonstrate the love of Jesus, Amen!