December 20, 2023 | Source & Summit
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Pope Francis stops to pray in front of a Nativity scene in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican Dec. 9, 2023, after meeting with donors, artists and local government officials responsible for the Christmas decorations at the Vatican. The scene is a mosaic of Venetian glass tiles created by Alessandro Serena and features St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi in celebration of the 800th anniversary of St. Francis staging the first Nativity scene. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Source & Summit: The Nativity of the Lord

(The faithful) taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life, offer the Divine Victim to God, and themselves along with it. 

-The Second Vatican Council fathers in Lumen Gentium, #11

Source & Summit is a feature of The Western Kentucky Catholic online, celebrating the National Eucharistic Revival: Year of Parish Revival. Intended to help Catholics of our parishes to probe the riches of our liturgical year and celebrate the liturgy well, the column will always start with the Bible readings for the Mass of the Day to help us reflect on, and help to “unpack” and expand our experiences at liturgy into the domestic church (the home) and the workplace.

Sunday reflections will be based on the Lord’s Day, the Liturgy, the Eucharist, and, occasionally, community.


Monday, December 25, 2023:

The Nativity of the Lord


Isaiah 52: 7—10

Psalm 98: 1—6

Hebrews 1:1—6

John 1: 1—18


Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25.  This great celebration has taken place for almost 2,000 years on this date.  Even many non-Christian people are at least somewhat familiar with this special day.  For the Christian believer, Christmas celebrates Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem into our world, and our hearts, putting into motion God’s divine plan of salvation to save all humankind from sin. With the Incarnation of Jesus, the Word became flesh. God became one of us.  The wood of the humble manager in which he was laid as a beautiful baby boy would one day become the wood of a most humble throne, the Cross, on which he would open his arms and Sacred Heart, throwing open the gates of Heaven once again and gifting all humankind with the hope of eternal life.  God makes this happen because he loves us, and wants to be with us, and in turn he wants us to be with him always.

While Christians and many non-Christians alike may be familiar with December 25 and Jesus being born in Bethlehem, many of us may not be familiar with the meaning and significance of Jesus being born in Bethlehem and its connection to the Holy Eucharist. The name Bethlehem means “House of Bread.”  This is no coincidence.  Jesus chose to be born in Bethlehem because he knew his flesh would soon be given for the life of the world. The world was graced with Jesus’ presence when he was born some 2000 years ago, but the world is graced with Jesus’ presence every time the Mass is celebrated.  In the Mass, a kind of “incarnation” takes place when simple bread and wine are consecrated, by the power of the Holy Spirit, into the True Presence of Jesus Christ: his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. How truly blessed we are to receive Jesus every time we attend Mass and receive him into our souls at Holy Communion. May the grace and presence of Jesus fill our hearts and souls this Christmas Day and every time we receive him in the gift of the Holy Eucharist, for his flesh gives life to our souls and the world.

-Fr. Brandon Williams


To learn more about the Diocese of Owensboro’s celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival, visit

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Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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