Our parish Christmas Masses are usually packed out. This year is different. Our traditional family and parish community gatherings are restricted, attendance at Holy Mass curtailed and many remain isolated in their homes for fear of the coronavirus. Since March, we have lived with the darkness of a pandemic that has drastically changed our lives. The good news in recent weeks has been the rollout of the Virus Vaccine. We thank our scientists and manufacturers of the vaccine for the speed in which we hope the sons and daughter of all nations will soon benefit from.
In spite of lockdowns and now Tier 3 the spirit of the season has not been lost. Driving around, we see people continue to decorate our churches, homes, stores and streets with colourful lights, tinsel, ornaments and Nativity scenes. Young children are looking forward to Santa’s visit. Our schools to their credit have been on the front-line supporting children and families.
It’s good to see many people wearing their mask while shopping to protect the lives of strangers and loved ones alike.
Our Masses will be online with limited numbers because of social distancing seated in our parish church. For us Catholics the true meaning of Christmas cannot be lost. The heart of that spirit is Christ, The Light of the World (Jn 8:12). The Holy Angel also says to us: “DO NOT be afraid.” Trust in God still. Yes, these are worrying times, scary times, the pandemic is still with us. Its
darkness still haunts us. That darkness has not dimmed the Light that Christ brings. He strengthens us with the gift of hope that reminds us of the marvellous promises God has made to those who trust in Him and who depend on Him.
Christ Jesus continues to be the source of our strength, endurance and life. In his infinite love, God sent Christ, The Emmanuel who is “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) to strengthen our faith in the Divine Son who became man for us except for sin and for our salvation. His loving and saving presence assures us we are not alone. He comes to heal our afflictions, calm our anxieties and give us hope for better days, which the New Year may bring.
The Light of the Lord, the Light of Christ is not just for ourselves. Christmas gives us the opportunity to share the Light of Christ with others. The Lord wants us to be his ambassadors, his apostles of light in these difficult times. To be a source of charity, outreach, and love for others is a gift we can share so that our blessings can be a blessing to our brothers and sisters especially those most in need.
These days of Christmas and the holy season that follows are priceless. We want, we invite Christ to be born again in our hearts this Christmas. Our families need Him! Our nation needs Him! The whole world needs Him! Open the door to the Light of Christ, cry out in prayer – “Jesus I trust in You”. Call on Mary, call on the Mother of Our Saviour, call on her for help and support as you journey into 2021. Don’t forget Saint Joseph, our friend in Heaven. Jesus wants you to love Saint Joseph, Our Lady wants you to love Saint Joseph. They both want this so that your virtue and holiness may increase. In now this year of Saint Joseph, seek his help, seek his blessing – you will be following in the footsteps of Saint Teresa, her saintly parents Louis and Zélie and Saints down through the ages.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Blessings as you journey into prayer in the year ahead.
Please pray for your priests and for our parish.