The Birth of Jesus

December 25, 2021


Sunday Scripture Readings

IS 62:11-12 PS 97:1, 6, 11-12. Ti 3:4-7

Explore the Sunday Gospel


LK 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.

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth

to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,

because he was of the house and family of David,

to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there,

the time came for her to have her child,

and she gave birth to her firstborn son.

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,

because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields

and keeping the night watch over their flock.

The angel of the Lord appeared to them

and the glory of the Lord shone around them,

and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them,

"Do not be afraid;

for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy

that will be for all the people.

For today in the city of David

a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.

And this will be a sign for you:

you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes

and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,

praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."


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St. Anastasia (Feast Day December 25)

Second Century – Third Century 

St. Anastasia, also known as Anastasia of Sirmium, is a Christian saint and martyr who suffered for Christ during the time of Diocletian’s Christian persecutions. She is one of the seven women commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. 


Legend holds that Anastasia’s father was a noble pagan named Praetextatus and her mother was St. Fausta of Sirmium. Because her mother was a Christian, Anastasia was baptized as an infant and secretly raised with Christian values. Following the death of her mother, Anastasia’s father gave her in marriage to the pagan Publius, but she preserved her virginity. 


During the persecutions of Diocletian, Anastasia secretly visited the prisons and cared for the suffering captives. Anastasia’s servant informed Publius, and he locked her up and beat her. Anastasia began secretly corresponding with her adviser, St. Chrysogonus, who had gone to Aquileia. He told her to be brave, be patient and accept the Lord’s will. After the death of her husband, Anastasia distributed her property to those less fortunate and suffering. 


She then set off to follow Chrysogonus to Aquileia. Chrysogonus was personally interrogated by Diocletian but he never renounced his faith. Chrysogonus was ordered to be beheaded and thrown into the sea. Afterward, Anastasia returned to Sirmium and also gave her life for the faith. 


Take time to chat

  • Why do you think God first revealed the birth of Jesus to the shepherds?
  • What is the good news that was announced to the shepherds that night?
  • Why is the birth of Jesus so important to all people?
  • In what way can you share the good news of Jesus to others this Christmas season?


Recipe of the week

Cucumber Christmas Tree Appetizers

Celebrate the Christmas season with this easy appetizer.

butter and mayonnaise (or cream cheese)

sliced ham (optional)

white sandwich bread

thinly sliced cucumbers, cut in half

block cheese or yellow pepper

Cut bread and ham into Christmas tree shape with a cookie cutter or with a bread knife. Spread butter and mayonnaise (or cream cheese) on the bread. Place ham on top. Pat dry the cucumbers. Place them over the bread, covering it with green. Cut a small star out of cheese or a yellow bell pepper for an additional decoration at the top of the tree. Serve immediately.


Family Fun

Nativity Activity

Take the nativity figures from your nativity display and hide them all over the house. (Before hiding the baby Jesus, wrap the figure in wrapping paper.) Invite family members to search for the figures and then place them in the appropriate place in the nativity set. Ask them to tell the story of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of that figure. The baby Jesus should be unwrapped and placed last in the nativity set.  Remind children that Jesus is the best gift we can ever receive!


Other Ideas


Family Prayer

Search YouTube for a video of The Huron Carol that includes the lyrics. As a family, watch the video and pay attention to the lyrics. This song was originally written by Jesuit missionary, Jean de Brébeuf for the Huron people in their native language. As you listen, reflect on what Jesus’ birth means to you and your family.

Liturgy Link

Liga a la Liturgia

During the Gloria at Mass, we echo the words of the angels in today’s Gospel story: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When you sing the Gloria today, imagine being one of the shepherds in the field to whom the angels appeared on the night of Jesus’ birth.

Unleashing the Gospel in your Family

Haz Llegar el Evangelioen tu Familia

Focus on keeping Christ at the center of your Christmas day today. One easy way is set aside any secular Christmas carols and movies and replace them with ones that emphasize the reason for the season. Try to make Mass the focal point of your family Christmas celebration.

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Fun Facts!

Text Link

The Christmas wreath is a symbol of eternal life. The circle represents the crown of thorns worn by Christ on the cross, the little red berries symbolize drops of blood, and the evergreen plants represent eternal life.