Newsletter- 4th Week of Advent

Dear Parishioners

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 with joy 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 an 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 the prospect of a world-wide recession, 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 the humble, the kindliest of the kindly, and the greatest-ever believers in God’s goodness and mercy, as we prepare to welcome Jesus into our hearts and lives again 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 – hearts filled with love.  As we prepare during this last week of Advent for Christmas let us put all our hope and trust in God who loves us unconditionally and let us ask for the grace to become the bearers of His love, mercy, and truth to one another. Then we shall truly experience the peace and joy of the coming Christmas season.

Christmas Crib Offerings: Christmas time recalls the needs of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. Many parishes across the country adopt Friends of the Holy Land as the beneficiary of their crib collections. We shall do the same here at St. Mary’s. FHLhelp the most deprived Christian families, especially those living around Bethlehem, in Gaza, Israel and Jordan. FHL remains theonly 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 Crib in church. All donations will be sent directly to FHL to help support their important work.

With my prayers for you and for your families during this last week of Advent,

Your friend and Parish Priest,

Father Jonathan


2022 18th December– Newsletter – Download