St. Dominic Catholic Church

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A Breakable God 2021-12-25 Fr. Roberto



Homily for Christmas
Fr. Roberto Corral, OP
St. Dominic’s Church, Los Angeles, CA
December 25, 2021

Title: A Breakable God
Theme: Jesus is our breakable God who has restored our broken world.
Readings: Isaiah 9:1-6; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14

Some years ago, on Christmas Day, a priest named Fr. John, went to visit his brother and sister-in-law and their 3-year-old daughter, Lizzy, who was not just his niece, but also his oddaughter. 
While Fr. John was relaxing in the dining room, little Lizzy came up to him and asked, “Uncle John, can I show you something?” She took him by the hand and led him to the living room where she pointed to a beautiful, very delicate, white porcelain nativity set on a table by the Christmas tree, and she said to him, “Look, Uncle John!” 

Fr. John was immediately filled with overflowing pride and joy that his little niece, at such a young age, already knew the true meaning of Christmas! And he was absolutely sure it was because she was his goddaughter! She did not point at any of the presents or even at the Christmas tree; no, she pointed at the nativity set, and Fr. John was sure that she was going to tell him the story of Jesus’ birth. So, he knelt down next to his goddaughter, almost in tears, and asked her, “Lizzy, can you tell me what that is?” She nodded her head excitedly. Fr. John said to her, “Okay, sweetheart, tell me what it is.” And, with excitement in her eyes, she answered, “it’s breakable!”

It took Fr. John almost five minutes to stop laughing at little Lizzy and at himself. But eventually, it dawned on him that she was absolutely right: breakable! Isn’t that exactly what makes Christmas so amazing and special? At Christmas, we celebrate a God who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son into a broken world to be breakable for us. At Christmas, we rejoice and proclaim our faith in a breakable God who came to live among and save a fragile and broken people. And all of us here are fragile and broken in some way, aren’t we? In other words, all of us have issues and needs and struggles that are physical, mental, emotional or spiritual…or all of the above, don’t we? 

Especially as we continue to deal with this darn pandemic and all the craziness in this world of ours – we have to realize that we are broken and our world is broken. However, as Christians, we can find acceptance, comfort, strength and inspiration in our breakable God who was born in poverty and the filth of a messy, smelly stable; a breakable God who would later reach out to the lonely, the outcast, the sick, the lame and the sinner; a breakable God who would eventually be rejected by his own religious leaders, be betrayed and abandoned by his closest friends, and be tortured and executed by his government.  

My brothers and sisters, our God is not a God who is aloof or a God who demands perfection from us. Our God is not a God who merely tolerates our sinfulness, imperfection and brokenness, but rather a God who embraces our brokenness and enters into the brokenness, sloppiness, the poverty, the darkness of our lives and our world. He truly is Emmanuel, a God who is with us, not just when we are good, lovable and whole, but especially when we are not so good, when we are unlovable and broken. He offers us forgiveness, healing, strength and wholeness, not just once, but again and again and again.

But, in order to receive all those things God wants to give us, we have to recognize and accept our own imperfections and brokenness and acknowledge that we need God’s help to be made whole. We cannot do it alone. And, in a similar way, we are called to accept, forgive, work with and love others who are also imperfect and broken: our imperfect and broken spouse or partner, our imperfect and broken parents, children, family, friends, neighbors and coworkers; our imperfect and broken Church, country and world.

So, my brothers and sisters, Christmas is not just a celebration of something that happened 2,000 years ago. It is also a celebration of something that can happen now, in our hearts and in our world. Jesus, our breakable God, is asking to be born again in you and in me so that we can receive his light, his love and his very life into our hearts, and then bring him to this broken world of ours so that all God’s imperfect and breakable children might be loved, redeemed and live forever…and break no more.