EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
The news of the birth of Jesus quickly spread far and wide, thanks to the shepherds. Why shepherds? Why didn’t God choose a king, a powerful dignitary, or people of great wealth? Why didn’t the three Wise Men or the Holy Family share the news of Jesus’ birth? Shepherds were humble men with very little status. As such, they were looked down upon by almost everyone at that time. Angels appeared to these lowly people in the middle of the night to show that Jesus came into the world for everyone: the wealthy, the needy, the educated and the ignorant, people of every race. Abraham, Moses, and David were all shepherds, and God made promises to them about future deliverance. God honored this promise by announcing the coming of the Messiah to the shepherds first. Their key role was to spread the news of Christ’s birth as quickly as possible. History tells us that they did this very well.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· Why is the birth of Jesus so important to people of every time and place?
· How does gift giving relate to the birth of Jesus?
· How do the lights on our Christmas trees remind us of Jesus?
· What would it be like to be one of the shepherds in the Gospel story?
Make Christmas morning extra special by preparing a fancy brunch for your immediate family. After opening presents, your family will appreciate a table set with your finest dinnerware, fancy juice glasses, and an assortment of breakfast foods. Put on some religious Christmas carols in the background, light some candles, and enjoy one another’s company on one of the holiest days of the year!
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
8 slices of bacon
2 onions sliced
12 slices of white bread, quartered
½ pound shredded Swiss cheese
4 cups milk
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Can be done ahead of time: Cook bacon until crisp; crumble. Cook onions until soft. Spread ½ of bread in greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with ½ bacon and ½ onions and ½ of the cheese. Repeat layer.
Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes until set and puffy.
A Christmas Prayer
Help us to focus on you today, remembering that you are our most treasured gift for the whole year through. Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit. Direct our hearts and minds towards you. Thank you for your reminder that, in both seasons of celebration and seasons of brokenness, you’re still with us. You never leave us. Thank you for your daily Presence in our lives, that we can be assured that your heart is towards us, your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to our prayers. Amen.
Christmas Mass is a very special liturgy. What are some things that happen at Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day that don’t happen on a regular Sunday?
Share some aspect of your faith with an extended family member.
The word Christmas comes from an old English term “Christ’s Mass.” It is the day that marks the celebration of Christ’s birth.