“Jesus, Who is born tonight, is born thrice. He is born of the Blessed Virgin, in the stable of Bethlehem; he is born by grace, in the hearts of the shepherds, who are the first fruits of the Christian Church; and He is born from all eternity in the bosom of the Father, in the brightness of the saints: to this triple birth, therefore, let there be the homage of a triple Sacrifice!” (Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol. II).
Each Sunday Catholics have a choice of Masses to attend, i.e. the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening, or one of the Masses offered on Sunday, including a Sunday evening Mass. For our personal convenience and as a practical way of accommodating the many parishioners, the Mass of the current Sunday with its specified readings is offered at different times.
Christmas Mass, however, is presented to us as a triptych: the Mass at Midnight, the Mass at Dawn, and the Mass during the Day. Each one is different. Each one has a different focus on the birth of Christ. The first of the three Masses is celebrated at Midnight, an ancient Church custom of profound significance. Tradition holds that Christ was born at midnight and the Midnight Mass highlights the fact that Christ, the light of the world dispelled the darkness. The Mass at Dawn is known as the Shepherds’ Mass. The theme of light is held up in this Mass. Outside the church dawn is breaking. The texts emphasize light. The Mass during the day emphasizes Christ’s divinity. The readings are different at these three Masses.
This Christmas triptych evokes deep contemplation. We are moved interiorly to take one aspect of the Christmas mystery and absorb it as deeply as possible. Every year brings fresh insights and deeper understanding. Contemplation doesn’t need words. Kneel silently before the crèche, gaze at the mystery, and allow God’s grace to work within you. That is enough.
Each Christmas we renew this encounter with the Lord and after we leave the silence of the crèche and go about our daily routine, more and more we begin to mirror the Blessed Mother in carrying His light into the world.
Your email address will not be published.
We are excited to invite you to join the Napa Institute for our first Virtual Conference, “Finding Hope in the New America.” While we won’t be able to share conversation or a bottle of wine with you this year in person, we invite you to fill your glasses at home and toast the hope we have in the Napa Institute Family and in our Faith. Join speakers such as Cardinal George Pell, Dr. Scott Hahn, Curtis Martin, and many more as they address issues ranging from socialism to how to answer our call to evangelization in a hostile world. In these unprecedented times in our nation, we must view all the critical issues through a Catholic lens, with great hope in Christ.
Believe In God | Believe In People
The Remarkable Connections Between Catholicism and Charles Koch’s New Book
The Napa Institute is a long-time partner of Stand Together, a philanthrop
Originally posted by USA TODAY:
Woke Capitalism Will Drive Faith Out of Business
Woke capitalism is forcing business owners to choose ideological sides or get out of business.
Originally posted by First Things:
"If you sup with the devil, you’d better bring a long spoon.” In dealing with China, it’s a piece of folk wisdom the Vatican might want to take mo
As Catholics, we are rooted in the incarnation - God became flesh to redeem a people, a people that went on to redeem an empire, and an empire that became a Church to redeem the world. The redemption