As we celebrate this beautiful Feast of Christmas, we celebrate in a very special way, the great love that God has for us. He sent his Son into the world as a living sign of how loved we are by Him. Jesus came into the world as our Saviour. He came to forgive our sins and to win for us the gift of eternal life. That is what Christmas is about. It is the real meaning of the season. May we all find hope in the fact that Jesus came into our world as a light shining in the darkness.
Today many people face darkness and uncertainty through sickness, bereavement, personal or family difficulties, financial worries and so on. Christmas reminds us that we do not face these challenges on our own. God is with us. May his presence fill us with peace and hope as we go forward on the journey of life.
At this time I would like to express my appreciation to all parishioners for the kindness, support and generosity shown to me in so many ways over the year. I wish to express a particular word of thanks to all who are involved in parish committees, liturgical ministries and to all who care for St. Cronan’s and St. Anne’s and their grounds. Without your generosity of service the parish could not function. A word of thanks also to the parish staff for their ongoing work and commitment.
Congratulations to all who celebrated Marriage, Baptisms, First Communion and Confirmation this year. There are all very happy occasions that we rejoice in. Christmas can be a very lonely and difficult time for those who have suffered a bereavement during the year. Many of us have heavy hearts this Christmas. Let us be very mindful in our prayers of all who have had a bereavement, of those who are sick and of all who face challenges of any kind at this time.
Likewise, we think of our emigrants. Distance may separate us but prayer unites us. This Christmas, as we reflect on God’s love for us let us be thankful for all who share love and goodness with us. Let us place our families, our neighbours, our friends before God in prayer.
May the blessing of this most sacred Feast fill our hearts with peace and hope. May all of us bring a little peace, a little joy and a little hope into some else’s life this Christmas time. Let us seek to bring a little light into someone else’s life at this time.
May God bless you all this Christmas and throughout 2017.