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Community & Business

11 December, 2022

Pastor’s Viewpoint - December 6

Rejoice and be glad! Your salvation is nearer than when we believed.”

In this psalm, we read how the prophets sent by God, came to remind us that our redemption is nearer than when we first believed!

During the season of Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas), we pause and reflect on the wonderful mystery of God’s relationship with his people. John the Baptist, the last of the Old Covenant prophets, appeared in the desert calling the people to repentance.

Those who chose to listen to his message, he baptised in the river Jordan. As we prepare our own hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we need to be aware of the great mystery we are celebrating. It is so easy to get caught-up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and sending special cards to those we love, and to lose sight of the great mystery of our redemption.

So, we are encouraged to look beyond the business of the world around us and focus on the real meaning of Christmas. For some among us, it will be a sad and lonely time as we remember those we loved and lost. For others, it will mean separation within the family knowing that they won’t be able to get home to be with family and friends.

We also remember those whose country is torn apart by war such as Ukraine, and others who have lost everything here in our own country through the recent devastating floods, as well as the dreadful Black Christmas fires at the beginning of the year.

It is important then, to pray in whatever way we can - treasuring a few quiet minutes each day; in joyful anticipation; in moments of stillness between our preparation of food and gifts; and to remind ourselves of the wonderful gift the Father has given us in his Son, Jesus. In the company of Mary whose “Yes” changed the world, of Joseph who, realising the woman he was engaged to was pregnant.

How alarmed he must have been, until he was assured that she was not promiscuous but, rather, called to the highest honour of being the mother of his Son through the miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit. Let us, therefore, strive to bring joy and happiness to those around us as we celebrate together another important gathering.

We can ask ourselves each day: “What can I do or say, that will brighten up another’s life at this time?” “How can I reach out to those in my community, who are lonely or suffering in some way?”

Let us pray:

“Loving and compassionate God, I thank you for sending your beloved Son to live among us. May this Christmas be a time of peace and joy to those who need our prayers. Help us to be more kind and loving to our family, friends, and those amongst whom we live and move. I make this prayer through your Son Jesus in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Sister Robyn McNamara - St Joseph’s Parish Assistant

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