Editor's note:

Since the Fourth Sun­day of Advent this year is also Christ­mas Eve, we’d like to share this Christ­mas piece with you today. Imag­ine being a Chris­t­ian in the 5th cen­tu­ry and get­ting to hear this ser­mon from Leo the Great … yeah, we think that’s a real­ly awe­some thought, too. 

May you find in these last days of Advent and the twelve days of Christ­mas many, many rea­sons to rejoice. 

—Renovaré Team

Dear­ly beloved, today our Sav­ior is born; let us rejoice. Sad­ness should have no place on the birth­day of life. The fear of death has been swal­lowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eter­nal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same rea­son for rejoic­ing. Our Lord, vic­tor over sin and death, find­ing no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of vic­to­ry at hand. Let the sin­ner be glad as he receives the offer of for­give­ness. Let the pagan take courage as he is sum­moned to life.

In the full­ness of time, cho­sen in the unfath­omable depths of God’s wis­dom, the Son of God took for him­self our com­mon human­i­ty in order to rec­on­cile it with its cre­ator. He came to over­throw the dev­il, the ori­gin of death, in that very nature by which he had over­thrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord, the angels sing in joy: Glo­ry to God in the high­est, and they pro­claim, peace to his peo­ple on earth as they see the heav­en­ly Jerusalem being built from all nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exul­tant at this mar­velous work of God’s good­ness, what joy should it not bring to the low­ly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spir­it, because in his great love for us, he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new cre­ation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Chris­t­ian, remem­ber your dig­ni­ty, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your for­mer base con­di­tion. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a mem­ber. Do not for­get that you have been res­cued from the pow­er of dark­ness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacra­ment of bap­tism, you have become a tem­ple of the Holy Spir­it. Do not dri­ve away so great a guest by evil con­duct and become again a slave to the dev­il, for your lib­er­ty was bought by the blood of Christ.

From The Litur­gy of the Hours Accord­ing to the Roman Rite, Vol. I, Advent & Christ­mas Sea­sons, pp. 404 – 405 Catholic Book Pub­lish­ing Corp., 1975.

Starting Soon: The 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion not just infor­ma­tion. Runs Sep­tem­ber 2020 through May 2021.

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