Erika Barron
Advertising Account Executive
January 3, 2023 // Bishop

Bishop Shares Eucharistic Nature of the Nativity with Cathedral Parishioners

Erika Barron
Advertising Account Executive

On Saturday, Dec. 24, at 10:30 p.m., Most Reverend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades gathered with the faithful despite the icy road conditions and frigid cold at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne to celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. At the Cathedral, beautifully decorated with poinsettias in honor or memory of loved ones of parishioners, and with the smell of incense filling the air, Mass was concelebrated by Father Jacob Runyon, Rector of the Cathedral. Also assisting Bishop Rhodes were deacons David Langford and Ryan Timossi. The Holy Mass began with Bishop Rhoades kneeling in adoration at the Creche of the Christ Child.

Photos by John Martin
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades kneels in adoration at the Nativity with the manger of the Christ Child just before celebrating Christmas Eve Mass at 10:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, Dec. 24.

Click here for more photos from the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

Bishop Rhoades began his homily by reminding those gathered, “Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord. For 20 centuries, this joyful proclamation has resounded from the heart of the Church. On this holy night, the angel repeats to us, the people of the 21st century: ‘Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ the Lord.’”  Bishop Rhoades continued by saying, “Every Christmas, we re-live the mystery of the Nativity of our Lord. The Son of God, eternally begotten of the father, became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and assumed our human nature. God entered history. He was born in time.”

“Adoration: that is why we are here tonight, making our own the faith of Mary and Joseph and the shepherd,” he called to mind. “Our prayer tonight is primarily prayer of adoration — we creatures praising our Creator who became our Redeemer, exalting the ‘child born to us … the Son given to us’ who was prophesied by Isaiah, the one upon whose shoulder dominion rests, the one named ‘Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.’ We kneel in wonder before and adoration before the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation.”

Bishop Rhoades went on to say, “The Fathers of the Church saw the intimate connection between the Eucharist and the Nativity. In early Christian art, the manger was often depicted as a kind of altar. Saint Augustine and other Church Fathers, pointing out that the manger was the place animals found their food, noted that Jesus called Himself the true bread come down from heaven. It was not just a coincidence that He was born in a manger, a feeding trough.”

He added, “It is important to also note that the name of the little town, the city of David, where Jesus was born is Bethlehem, which literally means ‘House of Bread.’ In the midst of our Eucharistic Revival, it is good to appreciate the Eucharistic meaning within the details of the Nativity: the connection between the mystery of Christmas and the Mystery of the Eucharist.”

Bishop Rhoades concluded his homily by reminding parishioners that the great joy of Christmas is something that “embraces all time … past, present, and future.”

“On this holy night, eternity entered history and remains with us forever. Let us place at the feet of the child Jesus our joys and our hopes, our fears and our tears. He alone is our peace. He alone has the words of everlasting life.”

After Mass, with joyful hearts and the Eucharistic nature of the nativity on their minds, families gathered at the front of the church to kneel in adoration at the manger of the Christ Child, where they said a prayer of thanksgiving.  God has become man in the form of a helpless baby, born to be the Bread of Life.   

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.