Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord
The mass tells us that "the Word that came down from heaven during the night" (Introit) of Christmas is "the Son of God who has come that we might participate of His heritage and receive the adoption of sons" (Epistle). Before His coming, man was as "a child who during his minority differeth nothing from a servant" (Epistle). On the contrary, now that the New Law has emancipated him from the tutorship of the Old Law "he is no longer a servant but a son" (Epistle).
In revealing to us this supernatural filiation of Christ, which affects our souls more especially at this season of Christmas, the liturgy makes the Divinity under the aspect of Paternity resplendent in our eyes. Also, the worship of the sons of God is summed up in that word spoken with Jesus, "Father!" (Epistle).
The Gospel also discloses to us the glorious mission which the future has in store for this Child, the manifestation of which begins today in the Temple.
"It is the King" (Gradual), "whose reign" (Alleluia) "will reach the very depths of the heart" (Gospel). For all it will be a touchstone, a stumbling block for those who will persecute Him (Communion), a cornerstone "for many in Israel" (Gospel).
At that time: Joseph, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his Mother: Behold, this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel: and for a sign which shall be contradicted: and thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until four score and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving day and night. Now she at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord, and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. And the Child grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in him.