19th December 2021 – 4th Week Of Advent
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we meditate on the peace that Jesus brings to our hearts and lives and to our broken and fractured world. On this Sunday, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait the birth of our Saviour at Christmas. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolises peace, the message of Peace that the Angels proclaimed at the birth of the Christ child at Christmas.
The real event of Christmas is that God comes to change the world and each of us—not just through a historical, virginal conception and a baby lying in a manger, but through the God who is with us today, shattering our self-righteous attitudes and seeking to move us beyond our fears, freeing us from all that holds us back from loving and being loved and offering us the peace which He alone can give. Although we may face financial problems, job insecurities, family issues, health concerns and now daily the worrying news of the increase in the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, let us put all our hope and trust in God. Instead of relying on our own schemes to get us through life, let us trust in God and be strengthened by talking to Him in our daily prayer life and by listening to Him speaking to us in our times of stillness and quiet reflection each day. Let us remain faithful and prayerful, imitating Joseph and Mary, the humblest of thehumble, the kindliest of the kindly, and the greatest-ever believers in God’s goodness and mercy, as we welcome Jesus into our hearts and lives this Christmas.
God sent Jesus from Heaven to earth to give us human beings what we really need most in life: hearts filled with love. That is the gift which Jesus really wants from us, and that is what you and I really need from God this Christmas – a heart filled with love. I believe God wants to give each of us a heart filled with love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness on this Christmas and every day of our lives. And so, as we approach the Birth of the Christ child this Christmas let us put all our hope and trust in the God who loves us unconditionally and without resolve and let us ask for the grace to become the bearers of His love to one another. Then we shall truly experience the peace and joy that the coming Christmas season brings.
Christmas Crib Offerings: Christmas time recalls the needs of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. Many parishes across the country already adopt Friends of the Holy Land as the beneficiary of their crib collections. I hope that this year we can do the same here at St. Mary’s. FHL help the most deprived Christian families, especially those living around Bethlehem, in Gaza, Israeland Jordan. With no pilgrims and tourism since March 2020 and no government support to individuals or businesses, manyfamilies, especially in and around Bethlehem have lost all their income and are increasingly calling on FHL for help with day today living. FHL remains the only registered UK Charity with its own office, staff and volunteers in the City of Christ’s birth. From Christmas Day and until the end of the Christmas season there will be a basket to collect your offerings placed before the Nativity in church. All donations given will be sent directly to FHL to help support their important aid work.
With my prayers for you and for your families during this last week of Advent,
Your friend and Parish Priest,
IMPORTANT Newsletters – Our Parish Newsletters are available to be viewed and downloaded from our Parish website.
The online version will not include the Sunday Message
The Sunday Message and Newsletter will be available to download but this will be password protected – the password can be obtained from the Parish.
2021 19th December – Newsletter – Download
2021 19th December – LOOK – (Password Protected)– Download