25th December 2021 – The Nativity Of The Lord & 26th December – The Holy Family
May I take this opportunity of wishing each of you a very Happy Christmas and to thank you for making me feel so welcome in the parish since I arrived to become your Parish Priest at the start of September. These past few months have been a big period of transition for me personally from my work with the Bishop and in the Diocese, and as Chaplain at the University of Nottingham, into starting to learn the ropes of being a busy Parish Priest! Your kindness and loving support of me as I have gradually found my feet, has made these past few months at St. Mary’s a very happy time for me personally. Thank you.
Christmas carries the promise to us that new life, a different life, is always within our grasp if we are willing to reach out and receive it. As the first verse from our First Reading from the prophet Isaiah, at Midnight Mass reminds us: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.” With the birth of our Saviour at Christmas a holy day has dawned. A glorious light shines out into our world. It is Christmas! What we have prepared for and longed for has finally arrived. The packages have been wrapped and unwrapped. The world comes to a wonderful pause as we stop to savour this special season with our family and friends. The manger no longer sits empty. The baby Jesus lies on the straw and in our hearts, replacing our longings with hope. At the coming of Christmas, we feel a gentleness about the world and in ourselves.
Yet as quickly as Christmas comes though for many people it is over. Wrappings go into the dustbin; crumbs are swept away, and the decorations come down. It is back to work, back to bills to be paid and life as normal. It is no wonder that January heralds the blues of winter. But as Christians we know that Christmas is not over, it has just begun!
The Incarnation of Jesus is a grace we get to experience over and over. Here is the hope that we need to be able to overcome the many challenges life throws at us. That hope is ours through Christ. Jesus comes into our world with every prayer we breathe. The celebrations do end, and the decorations get put away, but the life of the party remains!
I pray that this Christmas the light of Jesus will shine within us and illumine the lives of those around us. I pray too that each of us may experience the goodness of God’s grace reborn in every kind word and every helping hand, not just today, but each day of the coming year.
May the light, the hope, and the joy which the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ brings into our lives and into our world this Christmas, remain with us, as we journey forwards together as a parish community and into the New Year ahead.
With Warmest Best Wishes to you and to your families this Christmas,
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 24th December – Newsletter – Download
2021 25th December – Newsletter (Including Sunday Message – Password Protected)– Download
2021 26th December – Sunday Message, The Holy Family – Password Protected– Download
2021 26th December – LOOK – (Password Protected)– Download