Did you see the joy in the face of the young couple in Cork as they walked into their new home after years in emergency accommodation?
Did you hear the joy in the voice of 90-year-old Margaret, the first person in the world to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
There are so many joyful moments in our lives that can lift our hearts in hope.
The third Sunday of Advent is a time to rejoice. We rejoice as we trust the words of John the Baptist who confidently tells us that Jesus is the light coming into the world. We do not have to ignore the difficulties or darkness that we experience. The promise of God is that the darkness will not have the last word. God’s words of promise are not empty. The Word is made flesh and lives among us. As we prepare to welcome Christ at Christmas, we open our hearts with joy and hope trusting that we are led out of darkness into God’s wonderful light.
Life has been so different for us all as we try to live in a way that protects our health and safety and the well-being of our community. It will be particularly difficult to manage the limited number of 50 that can attend Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In the Advent spirit of joy and hope it is important to focus on the positive. As we always celebrate the twelve days of Christmas up to the Epiphany on the 6th January, you could consider coming to Mass on any one of those days. All our Christmas Vigil Masses and Christmas Day Masses will be live streamed online. We would encourage you to think about joining us online from your home for Christmas. You could light a candle and spend time as a family as we celebrate the Mass together. There will be plenty of opportunities to visit the cribs in our Churches throughout the Christmas season.
We remember in our prayers Joe Murphy, Michael Neeson and Paddy Walsh who died recently. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends. May they rest forever in the light and peace of God’s love.
Take good care and mind yourselves. Go safely and gently.
Come Lord Jesus
Come and be born in our hearts