gospel reflection

‘The Angel said to them; “Do not be afraid, I bring you great news that will cause great joy among the people.” Luke 2:10

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There are plenty of reasons in our jaded world to be a little cynical about ‘Christmas joy’. Perhaps you too 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 the world, and political systems in the West struggle with even the basic demands of honesty and civility. 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. But 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.

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 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 the world.

From Fr Tien and I and the team at St Peter Chanel Parish, a blessed Christmas and New Year to you and those you love.

Fr John

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