Breaking Open the Word
By James Cavanagh
Dec. 25: The Solemnity of Christmas
The four psalms are “enthronement” psalms, which were traditionally sung whenever a new king was established in Israel. As such they’re a perfect response to the readings from Isaiah.
The second reading speaks in various ways about the miracle of the Incarnation: The reading from Acts highlights Christ’s relationship to David. The readings from Paul’s letter to Titus emphasize the divinity of Christ, while the reading from Hebrews stresses Christ’s eternity and supremacy.
The first three Gospel readings are from Matthew and Luke, which tell the familiar story of Christ’s birth. The fourth Gospel reading is from the magnificent prologue of St. John’s Gospel, which speaks about the pre-existence of Christ, “the Word” before the creation of the world.
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. For information on subscribing to "Breaking Open the Word, click here. For archives click here.