Pastor's Desk: Christmas Day

Posted 24th December 2009 in Pastor's Desk

“Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

The line above is from the Gospel of Luke and is read at the night Mass of Christmas Eve. It tells us of the joy of this great feast day; that God is with his people and salvation is offered to all. The birth of the Christ child is an occasion of hope and has always been so, since the very first celebration. Each year we remind ourselves of the circumstances in which Jesus was born to us. He comes into the world in humility, without the trappings of power. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is greeted by shepherds who were the least powerful of the society of the day. His dwelling is not a palace but a simple stable. From this moment on, God’s relationship with the world and the lives of all people has been changed utterly.

We, as faithful followers of Jesus, need this season of hope and we need to hear that message particularly this year. We, as I said in my Christmas letter to parishioners, are still reeling from the findings of the Murphy Report. I am conscious that remaining a committed member of the church has been and is difficult for people in the wake of all that has been revealed. I am sure you have been challenged by workmates, friends and family as to why you persist in your involvement and I am sure you have asked yourself the same question in the quiet moments. Each of us has to answer that question for ourselves. Our Church is in crisis as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said, but our personal faith in Jesus who is the Christ of God must be our way out of the crisis. Only by a refocusing on his message communicated in the Gospels can we ever hope to be what Christ envisaged for his Church. Let us take the opportunity of the Year of Evangelisation to turn to the Gospel of Luke and hear the voice of Jesus preaching and teaching and, just like the people of his day, let us be captivated once more by his message of hope and forgiveness for each one of us.

In conclusion I want to express my thanks to all who have contributed to the life of our parish this past year. We are blessed to have so many voluntary groups active and making a difference in all our lives. I would not have the room to thank those groups individually but please be assured that your work is valued by the community and the Parish Team. Speaking of which, my thanks to each member of the Team for all that they do and the commitment they show to sharing the Gospel. I know their work is very much appreciated by you the parishioners and so I extend our thanks to Fr. Gary, Sr. Margaret, Sr. Mary, Fr. Donald, Kevin our Candidate Pastoral Worker and Paul our Seminarian. May the child of Bethlehem be our model and inspiration for all we do this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

A very Happy Christmas to you all.

Fr. Eoin

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