Christmas Night

Little by Little

Homily for Christmas Night 2020
by Abbot Xavier Perrin

Is 9: 1-6
Tit 2: 11-14
Lc 2: 1-14

The power of little things
I guess that many of us might have been led by the present circumstances to meditate on the transformative power of little things. Does it not take just a little virus to disorganise our complex world and, alas, to shake too many lives with the threat of death? A very little ‘thing’ can indeed be very destructive.

Now, could another little ‘thing’ bring life, healing, mercy, peace, and much more? Can a little baby, in a little manger, in a little village, in a little country on the peripheries of the Roman Empire bring hope to a wounded world and healing to his sisters and brothers in humanity? Can the work of universal salvation rest on His little shoulders?

This is precisely what Christmas is about: “For you is born today in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord”. This little One is Christ the Lord. He is God, beyond measurement, beyond what we call little and big. The same God who created the vast universe and another infinite world within the atom, is now lying in a little manger for us. He is the ‘Always Greater God’, Deus semper maior, revealing Himself in the language of littleness. He shows the way of littleness to those who acknowledge they are little and cannot do great things. How shall we express love? By doing little things. How shall we walk the long way to salvation? By walking little steps. How shall we imitate God and become godlike? Little by little.

The first step of our conversion to Christ consists in welcoming Him in our littleness, our weakness, our powerlessness. God does not want only to provide us with guidance, as it were, from outside and above. He works within us. He needs access to our heart, to our free will, to our good will. That is why He knocks at our door. Shall we welcome Him? He is so little. Who would not have a place in their life for a God so little?

Take the little Babe
Take the little Babe in your arms and recognise who you are: little and weak; totally dependent on others; in need of kind and true love.

Take the little Babe in your heart and recognise your Brother, your Sister: they, too, are in need of your kind and loving care.

Take the little Babe in your soul and recognise your God. Open yourself to the gift of His presence. His presence is healing. His presence is salvation. His presence is the gift that enables you to live to the full.

Prayer to Jesus
In the silence of this blessed night, we welcome You, Jesus, our God.

We dwell with You in our houses. We walk with You on our journeys.

We attune ourselves to Your presence. We learn to see and to love the whole world and each single face, as You see and love them.

We open ourselves to The presence within Your presence. Son, you show us your Father, under whose loving gaze You constantly live. We adore Him. We enter His presence. We join You both in Your eternal, all-encompassing mystery.

Today, with You, we are born of Him. We shall do the little things of today under His gaze. We shall progress little by little, attentive to keep our hand in His, our eyes fixed on His face, our hearts resting in His Heart.

We shall not be afraid. We shall rest, with this little Babe, in the bosom of the Father! We shall trust. We shall hope. We shall love.

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Your generosity helps preserve Quarr for future generations...

Welcome to the Abbey of Our Lady of Quarr, a monastery on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England. It is home to a small group of Benedictine monks who strive to dedicate their lives to the glory of God, and whose day is characterised by prayer, work and community life.

Quarr Abbey is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Visitors are welcome to attend worship in the Abbey Church. You can visit our gardens, take refreshment in our Tea Shop and find out about the monastery in our Visitor Centre. The Farm Shop offers home grown produce and the Monastery Shop religious articles, books and souvenirs. There is a new exhibition of the work of local artists every week in the gallery.

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