Christmas 2017 is at hand. The intensity and busyness has begun to subside and we can now breathe a sigh of relief that the sacred day of Christ’s birth is about to dawn upon us. It may well have been a struggle for some of us but we have survived. We can now slip out of the material cloak of these past few weeks and don the mantle of awe, wonder and reverence at this special moment in God’s time. It is the feast of Emmanuel – God with us. We look to the God who became human in Jesus and our great wish is that He will shine forth in our humanity over the Christmas season. Let us be thankful for the festivities, for the homecoming, for our families, for the hope, peace and love that make this great feast what it is. As we immerse ourselves in the traditional celebrations, could we open our hearts too perhaps, to encircle those in our community who are sick at home, in hospital or in a nursing home. Our love and prayers can be a source of healing and new energy for them. There are quite a number of people who are grieving the goodbye of a loved one over the past year, whose hearts are empty and lonely at this time. A phone call or a quick visit over Christmas might go a long way towards effecting healing and wholeness in their broken lives. Spare a thought too for those whose lives speak of growing old; may they be blessed with peace and serenity. They are witnesses to all of us who ponder the meaning of life and growth. And, then, there are those with young eyes whose heads are full of wonder. Perhaps some of their simplicity and delight might slip into our hearts as we celebrate the Christmas moment.
To those who day after day, week after week, serve our parish community as Members of the Pastoral Council, School Boards of Management, Parish Office, Parish Finance Committee, Sacristans, Lectors, Eucharist Ministers, Altar Servers, Basket Collectors and Distributors of Envelopes, Choirs, members of the Obair Environmental group, we say a sincere “thank you”. Your dedication and devotion is greatly appreciated.
May this Christmas be truly a season of peace and goodwill for all of us. May these blessed days allow us to see the love of God shining through the windowed hearts of all of God’s people. And may we hold each other in our prayer and celebration over the coming days.
Every good wish, Fr Tom and Canon Reuben