Christmas message from Monsignor Leonard Danvers 

St Peter’s Catholic Parish

Christmas comes upon us so quickly, and we do well if we can avoid the commercial snowball that threatens to bury us all at this time.

Christmas seems to mean a lot of things, including a chance for a holiday or at least to relax a little; the fact that problems still come our way; that life’s difficult and wonderful at the same time; that intimacy and solitude are important.
Christmas has many layers. At the top is the supermarket Christmas – reindeer and Santa Claus; all the luscious treats; politically correct cards or some other bland greeting, that omit all reference to Christ.

The second level is the feasting and the necessary preparations: ham, lamb, turkey, mince pieces and pavlova. Good food is a key part of so many celebrations.

The third level is the Christmas crib, invented by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, which will be seen in most Churches and some public places at this time.

The deepest level is the hardest to dwell in. It’s also the simplest. It’s the knowledge that in Israel, some 2000 years ago, a young girl had a baby, and at that moment, and with the birth of this child, God came to our earth. And as he grew, he taught us a new way of living. His life says that compassion is more powerful than competition, that what gives life its deepest significance is the capacity to love and care, that despite evidence to the contrary, virtues matter.

Christmas is the coming of the Lord, with pity and love and healing. It responds to one of the deepest longings of the human spirit, the longing to be rescued, to be saved, to be comforted, to be restored, to be put to right, to be loved. That’s the glory of Christmas.

My prayer for you all is that you will experience joy, peace good will, love and hope this Christmas and that you will share these priceless gifts with others throughout the coming year.

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