There are plenty of reasons in our jaded world to be a little
cynical about ‘Christmas joy’. Perhaps you have a sense of the
remarkable paradox that sees loneliness as our number one social disease, yet
we hear that we have never been so ‘connected’. War and terrorism continue
unabated in parts of the world, political systems in the West struggle with even
the basic demands of honesty and civility, and many fellow humans continue to
be weighed down with poverty and injustice. For these reasons I think its
reasonable to ask
– can the star over Bethlehem bring us any relief, any hope ?
Some also claim that the Christmas story is a fairytale, made up to suit the
powerful. Is this really a fair criticism ? Would a made up story have the hero
born in the squalor of a stable. And surely a made up story would have the local
people clamoring to be of assistance to the young parents Mary and Joseph
after their long journey to Bethlehem.
But no, Jesus’ parents faced a world which, in many ways, is like our own.
They were greeted that cold first Christmas Eve by indifference. Jesus, the great
savior of the world, was born in a desperate place with the animals, who
themselves were sheltering from the cold. Hardly the stuff of a made up story…
I put it to you that the Christmas story is true. It is not only true, but it is good
and beautiful. The infant Jesus is the hope of the human race. Yes, the one who
was sent to bring freedom into the world started his life in the most humble of
circumstances, and yet 2000 years later his triumph over death and despair
continues to bring peace and joy into a world desperate for meaning and
From the staff and priests at St Peter Chanel Parish a blessed Christmas and
New Year to you and those you love.
Fr John Adams