Dec 23 – Today we hear of ancient promises being fulfilled, a reminder that God does act in human affairs – mostly through people who give him permission.
God does know each of us – and everything about us – and wishes to help us be like him. Seeing the truth more clearly than we do, God often surprises the world in his choice of partners and his way of doing things.
Trust and Love
The human experience of working with God shows us that trust and love are essential if people are to be able to respond to God. Our experience is that he gives few details in advance – we are constantly surprised by the way things turn out. Persevering in confidence we grow to discover exactly what it is God wants of us, what he is doing in us and how we are able to give true witness to the Lord Jesus. Often, as with Mary, we can wait a very long time before every thing makes complete sense to us. But we may trust that it does, and take our strength and our hope from the fact that it is the Lord who is working through us.
Heavy situations of stress or personal tragedy, which make it hard for us to discover joy, have never overcome the power of the Christmas message. Many people have struggled successfully against circumstance to celebrate the hope and joy of this day. Persevering, they found the powerful promise of God’s tender love right in their midst.
God loves us enormously and tenderly, eager for us to experience the fullness of His Light. “Fear not”, the angel said. Emmanuel, God-among-us, is a promise and a reality. We are not alone, we are never forgotten and we are not powerless. Our help is in the name of the Lord Jesus. This is the King of Glory, who came among us to bring the power of God into our homes, into our lives.
May the Lord Jesus be in your homes and in your hearts, filling you with hope and bringing you peace and joy.
Dec 30 – The Lord Jesus brings peace to all who let him enter their hearts. He is among us, ready to enlighten our minds and lend us his saving power.
A Season Crowded With Hope
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. Tuesday is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, and also the World Day of Prayer for Peace. Then next Sunday we celebrate Epiphany. Many things seem to be packed into this week that we usually consider to be a ‘quiet time’ before returning to our normal schedules.
Seven days later, we end the Christmas season with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. These special observances that come one upon the other so quickly serve to remind us of how much hope and vigour is packed into the brief Christmas season.
Jesus grew in human wisdom and maturity in a family – a simple, unpretentious one, but one where faithfulness to God was a rock of strength and his Law was the compass used to give direction to everything the family did. This feast reminds us how precious and powerful families are. It gives an example of the kind of love and peace we should be able to strive for in our own families.
Mary, Mother of God
We have a mission to make Christ and his love known and take Mary as the great example of how ordinary people can have an extraordinary effect on the world when they consent to work as instruments of God’s love. It is quite appropriate for this feast day to be set aside for prayers for peace, since those who bear witness to Christ are meant to be peacemakers, bringing the promise of God’s everlasting peace to our troubled world.
May 2019 see us hard at work as peacemakers – first of all in our own hearts, and then in our families. Thus we will be prepared to be true peacemakers in our world.