And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us | Christmas Day 2023

Home 9 Resource 9 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us | Christmas Day 2023

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December 22, 2023



The Nativity of the Lord


Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.

Opening Prayer

O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Sing or listen

First ReadingIs 52:7-10
Psalm 98: Listen here
Second ReadingHeb 1:1-6


John 1:1-18

  In the beginning was the Word,
        and the Word was with God,
        and the Word was God.
    He was in the beginning with God. 
    All things came to be through him,
        and without him nothing came to be.
    What came to be through him was life,
        and this life was the light of the human race;
    the light shines in the darkness,
        and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, 
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
    He was in the world,
        and the world came to be through him,
        but the world did not know him.
    He came to what was his own,
        but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God, 
to those who believe in his name, 
who were born not by natural generation 
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision 
but of God.
    And the Word became flesh
        and made his dwelling among us,
        and we saw his glory,
        the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
        full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying, 
“This was he of whom I said, 
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me 
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses, 
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, 
has revealed him.

Today is Christmas Day, the day we have long-awaited. Christmas is a milestone in the history of our salvation. So, it is lovely to know that God is with us. The central message of today’s celebration is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have every reason to be happy because the prince of peace is born.

Our first reading from Isaiah finds its sphere of accomplishment in the birth, ministry, and life of Christ. Isaiah proclaims: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one who brings the Good News.” Indeed, the good news himself is among us. The onus now lies on us to spread it. It is the good news of love, peace, hope, happiness, and salvation.

Therefore, all who have waited faithfully, patiently, and vigilantly must shout for joy because God is with us. Hence, Isaiah calls us to celebrate Emmanuel, God with us. It is a call to adore and worship the newborn king. It is a call to be joyful and to spread the good news.

In our second reading, the letter to the Hebrews captures and presents what God did for us today in a spectacular manner. “God Spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in our own time…he has spoken to us through the son…He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature….” The letter to the Hebrews simply means that God has fulfilled the promise he made by revealing the hidden mystery of salvation to us.

Today, revelation has reached its climax. The hidden mystery of the old covenant has been revealed in the Word made flesh. Therefore, we need no further revelation because God himself has revealed himself fully in Christ, the radiant light of the father’s glory.

The gospel of John concisely gives us the synopsis of what happened today, the divine incarnation of God: “The Word was with God…The Word was made flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His glory.” Today, God the Son has revealed God the Father. The Word that was with the Father as Spirit is now with us both as flesh, as well as spirit.

What we celebrate today is love because: “…God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son (Jn 3: 16). We must be ready to share this love. God sent Christ out of love. Christ accepted to come to us because of his love for us. Also, Mary and Joseph cooperated with God to bring Christ into the world due to their love for humanity.

Today, we celebrate sacrifice.  So, we, too, must be ready to sacrifice something for the good of our brothers and sisters as Christ did by leaving his heavenly throne to be with us. Today, we celebrate humility. We must learn humility from Christ, who, though was rich, became poor for our sake. Yes, he was born in the lowliest place, the manager.

Finally, today, we celebrate the reign of peace because the prince of peace is with us. Today, we celebrate hope because Christ’s birth is the hope of our salvation. Today is a day of joy. Therefore, let us: “Sing psalms to the Lord with harp, with the sound of music, with trumpets and the sound of the horn, let us acclaim the King and the Lord,” who is with us.

Merry Christmas!

Peace be with you all!


Written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp.

Closing Prayer

At the birth of Jesus, angels proclaimed peace to the world. We worship him now with joy, and we pray with hearts full of faith:
May your birth bring peace to all.

Lord, fill your holy people with whatever good they need,
— let the mystery of your birth be the source of our peace.
May your birth bring peace to all.

You came as chief shepherd and guardian of our lives,
— let the pope and bishops be faithful channels of your many gifts of grace.
May your birth bring peace to all.

King from all eternity, you desired to be born within time and to experience the day-to-day life of men and women,
— share your gift of unending life with us, weak people, doomed to death.
May your birth bring peace to all.

Awaited from the beginning of the world, you came only in the fullness of time,
— now reveal your presence to those who are still expecting you.
May your birth bring peace to all.

You became man and gave new life to our human condition in the grip of death,
— now give the fullness of life to all who have died.
May your birth bring peace to all.


Sing or Listen

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