A Five Minute Christmas Homily: Sleep in Heavenly Peace!

Posted December 22nd, 2017 by CLMrf and filed in View From the Pew

By Robert Fontana

Each year I submit a Christmas homily that I think will only take about five minutes to give because I don’t think the Christmas homily should be much longer.  The entire day of Christmas Day (and Eve), including the liturgy, proclaims the meaning of this holy day.  The homily is simply, as we say in Louisiana, “Lagniappe” or, “a little extra.” Here’s mine:

nativityRob     Merry, Holy, Christmas, Church!  Sing with me the last line from Silent Night:  “Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”  Every time I raise my hand during this homily would you sing that wonderful line from Silent Night?  Let’s practice (Rob raises hand and all sing):

All       “Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

Rob     You and I can sleep in peace tonight.  The Christ child has come.  Yes, he came two thousand years ago in a humble stable in Bethlehem, and, yes, he comes today in our hearts.  The Christ Child, a beautiful boy child, God’s beloved son, and the son of Mary, fully God and fully human, is born anew this night, both in our hearts and in the Eucharist.  We can sleep in peace tonight, the Christ Child has come.

All       “Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

arguingRob     “Wait, Rob,” you might say.  “How can I sleep in peace when some of my family members are not talking to me; liberals and conservatives aren’t talking; no one is talking to the homeless; the North Koreans are not talking to the U.S.; and most of humanity is not talking to God?”  I know, I know, conflict abounds, there is immense suffering in the world and in our lives, and this suffering often feels overwhelming.  That is as true today as it was 2,000 years ago, when love was born at Bethlehem.  When Jesus was born, the awesome power that exploded in the Big Bang and created the known universe, was once again released into the world but this time through the birth of a child.   And in this child, through His life, death, and resurrection, God showed us that love is the most powerful force in the universe, that love is the only way to get people talking to one another, the only path to world peace.  So yes, we can sleep in peace tonight: the Christ Child has come.

All       Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

Rob     God’s love in Jesus is very personal.  God loves you just as you are!  God is being born in your heart with all the good that is there and, most importantly, with all the pain, sin, fear, regret, hurt, and shame that are also there.  Take a moment…make a place for Jesus in your heart…welcome him in…let Jesus love you just as you are.  When you receive the Eucharist tonight / today, do not hold back.  Give to Jesus everything that is in your heart…and open your heart to welcome Jesus as he gives himself completely to you.   So yes, we can sleep in peace tonight: the Christ Child has come.

All       “Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

 baby&momRob     Jesus did not come into the world just for us, for those who know Him and are trying to love him.  Jesus came into the world for those who do not know him, who are not guided by love, those who practice all sorts of vile and wicked things.  As John writes, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, not to condemn the world but to save it.”  Church, we need to love the world as well.  Nothing is transformed by hate.  Only love can truly transform a person, a group of people, or an institution into someone or something better.  God loves the world! God has not given up on the world; and God is still sending his Son into the world by sending us into the world to transform it by love.  Be conscious of all the painful, difficult drama in the world and in your life, but do not be overwhelmed by it.  For we who have accepted Jesus into our lives are taking his love into the world and transforming it by being a power for good in our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.  So yes, we can sleep in peace tonight: the Christ Child has come.

All       “Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

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3 Responses to “A Five Minute Christmas Homily: Sleep in Heavenly Peace!”

  1. Joan Steichen says:

    Robert, what a beautiful Christmas homily! The world today needs Jesus. We do not even know how much. Thank you for exalting His name and reminding us of His Truth. What a blessing you and Lori are to our hurting world, right here in Washington State, PNW, USA.
    May you and your family have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of new year’s! In Christ’s love, Joan Steichen

  2. Danny Gallagher says:

    Merry Christmas, Robert and Lori! Thanks for the well-put and concise homily! I hope I’ll hear some version of THIS on Sunday night at Mass! These are just the right topics, with simple enough language, to hold people’s attention and get them thinking about change in each of their hearts; whether they are young or old, a regular church-goer, or not. Christmas Peace! D and D

  3. Danny Thibault says:

    It’s hard to have hope with the present disregard for the poor, disadvantaged and environment. Christ comes to us in similar circumstances of 2000 years ago. He certainly loves us to return in spite of all this.