That early cry of Jesus remains the cry of hope

By Riverine Herald

THE cry of the early Church was ‘Come Lord Jesus’.

We Christians continue that prayer during the Advent days leading up to Christmas.

We are acknowledging our need to recognise the presence of God in our endeavours to build a worthwhile and spirit filled future.

It’s a cry of hope that we believers will be aware enough to prayerfully discern where and how the Spirit is endeavouring to lead us.

Some would point out that Christmas, the culmination of Advent, is all about finding life where we don’t expect life to be!

Christmas time always brings us back to a crib.

The presence of God in a Jewish baby is reminding us of what has gone before in our lives, is encouraging us to acknowledge the precious moments of the present, and to hope that we learn from experience what it takes to live well.

As one commentator recognises it is, “not for children, but for those who refuse to give up and grow old, for those to whom life comes newly and with purpose each and every day”. (author unknown).

Actually, there is a child in all of us hoping to be born again – it is to those conscious of such dreams that the Christ Child beckons.

Incarnation, God’s presence in Jesus the Christ, is redemption taking place.

“In Jesus’ birth, God was already saying that it was good to be human and that God is on our side”. (Daniel O’Leary).

Matthew and Luke are the authors of the two stories we have about Christmas.

Matthew uses the Magi to inform us about the cosmic ramifications of this Child’s birth, while Luke has ill-educated and despised shepherds representing all those in history not recognised by the Powers that rule.

“God-in-Christ” slips unnoticed into a world of brutal rulers and hard-pressed refugees.

A few unheralded (mostly unnamed) people manage to recognise him, to know this new kind of presence of God and to act accordingly.

The protagonists of the story are just ordinary people – and the focus is on a poor couple, Joseph and Mary, who, as a result of what God has done, are homeless (Luke) and political refugees (Matthew).

Their existence, with the child, is a challenge to the rule of Domination by Caesar (Luke) and a Herod (Matthew). (Fr O’Shea).

Christmas is about peace – the peace of the risen Christ in one’s being.

A gifted peace open to all who endeavour to live integrally, oppose evil and render life to others.

Des Welladsen

St Mary’s Catholic Church

Christmas Service Times

Christmas Day 10am