Glorify God, not things of this earth, Bishop Kemme says

Bishop Kemme celebrated the Christmas Eve Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Many glorify themselves, their pleasures, their importance, and power, they glorify the creature rather than the creator Bishop Carl A. Kemme said in his Christmas Eve homily at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

“But the Church calls us to glorify God as creator, redeemer, and sanctifier and this is the heart of worship and praise,” he said to a full cathedral from his cathedra. “‘Glory to God in the highest.’ That is why what we do here at the Mass is so very radical, countercultural, and formational. It flies in the face of the worship the world demands from us and in which we can never participate.”

God is the center of our lives and worship, he said, not us.

God is our goal

“God is the goal of the Christian life and journey and not anything this world has to offer us. To God alone we kneel and adore, like the shepherds did as they made their way to Bethlehem to see and worship the newborn King. So too, we have made our way here, to his place of birth for us in time, to his altar, to give of ourselves to him in love and service, to give God glory.”

The result is peace, Bishop Kemme said.

“Peace, which we so much need and desire, is a heavenly gift, a byproduct of a right relationship with God. This was powerfully foretold by the prophet Isaiah, who centuries before this holy night in Bethlehem wrote of the child to be born and upon whose shoulder dominion rests,” the bishop said.

“He is to be called Wonder Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. It is he whom we must glorify for to do so leads us to heavenly peace. To glorify anything else or anyone else leads to darkness, chaos, self-destruction, and ultimately death.”

Simple men first heard

Those who were first to receive the news of Jesus’ birth were not kings or powerful people but simple, humble, shepherds, Bishop Kemme said, whose hearts were unencumbered enough to hear the angelic messengers and to believe them.

“And so, on this Christmas night, this holy night in which in our hearts we too, like the humble simple shepherds have heard the angels sing and joined them in adoration and glory, we pray for peace, as well we should, peace in our violent world, peace in our families and communities, and peace in our hearts so that the peace that comes only from God and which the world will never fully understand or value will conquer the dictatorship of division and discord. All glory to God alone in the highest and on earth peace to us, to you and to me, on whom his favor rests.”