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Tréadlitreacha - Pastoral Letters


Treádlitir um Nollaig
- 2018 -
Christmas Pastoral Letter
Tréadlitir Nollaig - 2014 - Christmas Pastoral Letter

‘Agus tá an solas ag taitneamh sa dorchadas, ach níor ghabh an dorchadas é.’(Eoin 1:5)

'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.’ (John 1:5)

As I walked out into the cold from the warmth of the church, I glanced at the stars on that Christmas Eve night and thought to myself what it must have been like those 2000 years ago as Mary and Joseph journeyed in fear but yet in faith that fateful night.

All around me, the faith community of which I was part, was still gathering in clusters, talking excitedly amongst themselves as neighbours exchanged handshakes, hugs and invitations as well as Christmas blessings and best wishes.

There was a sense of warmth, welcome and genuine concern for well-being pervading the gathering and it was a beautiful experience which, in many ways, we have somewhat lost down through the years.

The above memories came flooding back to me recently as I was preparing my Christmas pastoral letter, and I felt in many ways that it was a good basis for writing these few words to you all. I am very conscious that Christmas can be a time of great loneliness, aloneness, hurt, pain and indeed a time of great challenge for so many in society but moreso for those of us who are members of the LGBT community.

This is not what Christmas is supposed to be about and in so many ways; such feelings come from those who are supposed to be the epitome of Jesus in our lives, namely our clergy and churches. It can be a challenge to our own personal faith when this rejection – whether perceived or actual – happens and we feel that we are not permitted to have anything to do with Jesus and God.

But it could not be further from the truth as not all of us clergy and churches behave in such a fashion.

I have had my own journey of fear and faith over the last 15 years and moreso in the last 13 years as a priest working with those who some churches conveniently discard and condemn ad nauseaum without considering the fact that we of the LGBT community are also human and have feelings. In all my years ministering, I have experienced the Christmas of being alone; feeling uncared and unwanted, considering my faith and challenging myself to live for another day.

It can be very difficult amidst such to find ourselves and indeed Jesus, but what we can forget is that Jesus has never left us even if those who preach in His name have.

Here in Ireland, at the moment, I am working with some who are interested in becoming members whether as a faith community or indeed those considering the religious life. In our community, we welcome male and female clergy and sexual orientation is not ever considered as grounds to refuse the possibility of acceptance for priesthood (alongside all other usual requirements).

'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.’ (John 1:5)

One custom that I remember from my younger days associated with Christmas was the lighting of a candle and leaving it lit in a window so as to guide the Holy Family on their journey and this year I offer such a lit candle to you.

This Christmas, as always for the last few years, I will again leave my door open for those who may have nowhere to go, nothing to eat or no-one to talk to. There will be a welcome for them, some food and an ear to listen to them and whatever help I can offer will be made available. For you, as you read this piece from me, I want you to understand that the same offer is there for you whether you wish to talk or need some help with something and I am in a position to help then I certainly will do so.

If it is desired by the LGBT community to have a Mass or celebration of Christmas in any part of the island of Ireland, I am more than happy to travel and share with you the celebration of love, hope and joy that which is Christmas, namely the birth of our faith through Jesus Christ.

I sincerely hope and pray that this Christmas may bring more light and happiness to you as you discern and journey in faith towards Christ, bearing in mind that you are not alone any more, and unlike Mary and Joseph, no longer need to journey in fear or aloneness.

May I take this opportunity to wish you a most blessed and peaceful Christmas,

+Joseph

Episcopus Auxilio

Christmas 2014


Tréadlitir um Cháisc - 2015 - Easter Pastoral Letter

‘D’éirigh Sé. Níl Sé anseo.’
(Marcas 16:6)

‘He has risen. He is not here.’
(Mark 16:6)

Today, we celebrate in our faith, the death and resurrection of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and each year, as we do so, we firstly take the journey of Lent with its 40 plus days of reflection, fasting and perhaps resolution.

Our journey is not unlike that of the journey undertaken by Mary Magdalene as she visits the tomb in the early hours of the morning lest she be seen by anyone. She makes her way towards where the stone guarding the tomb had been rolled into place, only to find that it has already been moved. (John 20:1)

In her panic and confusion, she decided to run to the disciples to let them know what she had witnessed and claimed that Christ had been removed from the tomb and she did not know after that where He had been taken.

At this moment let us also reflect on our own Lenten journey to date…a journey we began a few weeks ago. We do not know if we are going to stumble and pick up again or else just forget it and go back to where we started and leave it there for another year.It is a journey we take day by day…step by step…prayer by prayer.Each day brings its own challenges, and the biggest one of all is in our own belief and faith.

In the world we live at this time, in our own country, community and even our own family, there are daily challenges and difficulties…how can we afford a dinner?Or pay a bill which has landed in the door?

Perhaps the mortgage relief has been messed up by AIB and we now have to wait for that to be sorted out over a few months instead of here and now?

There is an everyday struggle going on in everyday lives and we must unite together to help one another…whether it be practically by donation to charity or with our prayers and thoughts.

It can be very easy understand where faith and belief are left to one side at this moment in time, and yet at this time of the year we should always make that little effort to at least break from the monotony of life and garner a little trust in God.

Not unlike Mary Magdalenes’ faith in the disciples, we have placed our trust in bankers, politicians, clergy and many others in society who we feel should have kept us safe and guided.What a price we have paid for their failures!!

There is a saying in Irish - is giorra cabhair Dé ná an doras – God’s help is nearer than the door – and how true it is if we would only take time to consider its meaning.

It brings me to the second part of todays’ Gospel from both Mark and John which indicates that when the disciples return to the tomb, sitting there where Jesus had been laid to rest, was an angel.

The angel indicates to all present not to be afraid, that indeed He whom they were looking for is not there. Jesus has conquered death!!

‘He has risen. He is not here.’ (Mark 16:6)

Christ has overcome the ultimate human struggle and hurdle – death. If Jesus can do that, then we as mere mortals have hope in our lives.

Then again, as one person said to me only yesterday, Jesus did not have Irish bankers and politicians to deal with so Death would have been an easy challenge.

And to be honest and fair, I could not, and will not disagree with them on that point – even in jest!!Each and all of us with the exception of the politicians and their wealthy backers and friends, have survived well but the gnáth-duine (ordinary person) has taken a constant hammering financially which then leads to other impacts such as health and well-being, self-confidence and in faith.

If there is any hope to be offered in all of this, and I know there is, let it be this – do not depend on others such as politicians and bankers to look after you. They have failed thus far and will continue to do so.

Tend to your own needs first – you, your loved one, your family and friends – whether it be spiritually, financially or otherwise.Never be afraid to ask for help, never be afraid to offer help and very soon your own spiritual life will become the Easter tomb…where once it contained only the darkness of death, once the light of the Risen Christ enters it then becomes part of your everyday life.

Let your words, actions and everyday living be that of love, compassion, joy and happiness.

Even though there will be dark days – which there will – never ever let them pass without offering it up as we used say – and how true those words are.This Easter morning, turn to the one nearest to you, express your love for them by a simple smile, a hug, a kiss or some kind words.

Then turn to your own self and think about how on this morning of mornings, this day of days and reflect on how you wish Christ - with the message of life – to be part of your life today and every day.

We are Mary Magdalene, we are the disciples who find an empty tomb – let us now find the guidance of our angels who will bring our earthly journey to Christ and to new life. Amen.Alleluia Alleluia - He is Risen from the dead - Alleluia Alleluia

Cách Beannach um Cháisc oraibh go léir

+Joseph

Episcopus Auxilio

Easter 2015
Tréadlitir - Seachtain na Páise 2015 

 Pastoral Letter Holy Week 2015

On Sunday April 14th 2014, the Constitution Convention formally voted in favour of a referendum being held in relation to same sex marriage.

What an historic moment indeed that was, and it has led to another which is now almost upon us – Friday 22nd May 2015 – the day that the nation of Ireland goes to the polls and votes on, amongst others, the right of same sex couples to be legally entitled to be married.

Of course, there have been, currently are, and will be, many debates in relation to this matter, with all sides expressing their views in relation to the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ side and indeed perhaps a few who will abstain.

In writing this piece, let me be clear about myself and my views in all of this so that there will be clarity and no confusion now or further down the line.

I am a gay male, who happens to be a priest.

Even if I choose to not avail of the right to marry, at least I know that I have partaken in something which will not only permit others to partake fully in society but also enshrines the right s of others through the generations to come.

However, what concerns me at the moment is the the divisions within the gay community itself in relation to this issue and the somewhat challenging positions being adopted which may end up costing the LGBT community this vote.

In recent days, I have become aware – regrettably – of members of the LGBT community being directly and indirectly being verbally abused by other memebrs of the LGBT community.

Why?

Because s/he has decided for themselves that they will cast a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming referendum and have acquitted themselves well when asked why they, as a member of the LGBT community, would then cast a ‘negative’ vote against their ‘own community’.

I have seen where they have also been compared to a certain organisation which is promoting a ‘No’ vote in the referendum and actually being accused (falsely let it be noted) of being a member of this organisation.

It is disgusting and beneath contempt to say the least and it is something the LGBT community needs to address now before this becomes an issue not only within the community but also outside the community as it tries to garner a ‘Yes’ vote.

What is of concern is that within itself, the LGBT community is now becoming the suppressor and oppressor of those whom it feels is ‘going against the rights of the community’ by voting ‘No’ on May 22nd.

Where is the equality in that?

Is it now a situation that by expressing a view contrary to that held by the community, one will now find themselves victimised and accused of being unfaithful?

When did the LGBT community decide it was going to start behaving like certain institutions who have themselves been suppressors of the LGBT community in this country?

Have we not learned anything?

If nothing else in this debate, I implore ALL sides to be respectful, tolerant and accepting of the views, opinions and decisions of ALL.

We are either equal in society or we are not…but the decision is ours to make at each and every turn in all of this.

Equality requires us to* respect the person(s) making the argument;* respect the argument irrespective of who is making the argument;* respect the vote of each and every person voting on the day;* respect the decision when it is announced, and if the vote is NOT in favour on the day, we must respect it and exercise our rights as citizens of this nation to continue to fight for equality without being offensive.

If the vote is in favour (please God) then let us be grateful and graceful in our response to it without making anyone feel sidelined or outside the community because they have a different view.

The old saying comes to mind, ‘I may not like what you say, but I will defend your right to say it’, and it is the very basis for our democracy and the entitlement within the democratic structure to say our piece without being maligned or mistreated because of it.

I personally hold the belief that we are indeed all equal, and not one single one of us has any perceived right to mistreat anyone, irrespective of their views etc. and it is most regrettable if it happens within any community.

Down through the years, I have held the belief of live and let live, and to put it into a religious context, may I offer these words….“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”(John 13: 34-35)

In my capacity as priest, bishop and Christian, I offer again to the LGBT community my support through my ministry, and working with other faith communities who offer the same pastoral outreach ­­.

Let not the oppressed become the oppressors as to do so will only sully the historic moment of equality for which we have all waited for so long.

It rests with us as a society, as a community and as individuals as to how this referendum goes, therefore let us be respectful of those in society, in our community and those individuals who have different views and opinions than our own.

Let us not win this referendum through bullying, intimidation and victimisation from WITHIN the community but rather by showing that we are respectful, accommodating and engaging to ALL of society.

It rests with us to win or lose this referendum and the irony of equality within society being won by the suppression of equality from WITHIN the community would not be lost on many who would most certainly expose it and certainly cost us the right to live as equals in society.

Not one single person is more or less equal than anyone else in this community, country or on this planet so let us not become judge and jury on the entitlements or otherwise of others to hold an opinion different than that which we would wish them to be.

Bullying, intimidation and other unwelcome behaviour is NOT the modus operandi of ANY organisation or grouping who wants genuine involvement in the democratic act of voting.

I now ask, on this Good Friday, that ALL who are engaged in this behaviour, to stop the scourging of those who hold different opinions and views.

It does nothing for the cause to obtain equality and indeed may do more damage than good.We as a community have been crucified enough down through the years and to now self-inflict it is beyond tolerable and understanding.

Live and let live at this time, and together let us ALL look forward to the morning of Saturday 23rd May when the vote is announced that – at long last – we have equal standing in Irish society.

I will continue in my ministry to reach out to all couples who wish to have a spiritual or religious ceremony irrespective of the vote, but let us pray and vote for a new Easter dawn of equality in our land, our community, our society, our homes and our hearts.

Mise, le meas,

+Joseph

Episcopus Auxilio

Holy Week 2015
TréadLitir um Cháisc - 2013 - Easter Pastoral

‘'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:2)

Under the cover of darkness of the early morning, Mary Magdalene and the other women who were with her went to the tomb in which Jesus had been laid to rest only to find the stone had been rolled back.

In panic and fear she went to find Peter and the remaining apostle and told them of what she had found and they too ran to the tomb to see for themselves.They found that Jesus was gone and all that was left was the linens in which He had been wrapped.

The anxiety, the fear, the sincere concern that must have been going through them at this time must have been unimaginable – to think that their Lord who had been flogged, mocked and hung on a cross like a common criminal only to be buried in the tomb was now missing and no reasonable explanation for it all.

They, like us no doubt in such a situation, stood there trying to take all this in and make sense of it all....and it does take a lot of figuring out.....or does it?Our journey to this point began on Ash Wednesday when we first had placed upon our foreheads the ashes which serve to remind us of our being of the earth and to the earth we shall return – we are human and are children of God who loves and cares for each and all of us the same and equally so.

Throughout Lent, we journeyed, as did those disciples on the road to Emmaus, in our search for Jesus in our lives – a journey of great challenge, maybe a few falls, and then throughout Holy Week, the slow, prayerful and reflective journey with Christ as He took up the cross for us.

They removed Jesus from the cross and placed Him in the tomb, from which He arose so as to give life to us all....a life of hope and renewed faith and belief.


‘He saw and believed.’ (John 20) 

And now this morning, the tomb is empty with Christ nowhere to be found....and not unlike the disciples we now find ourselves wondering where Christ is – as well we should!!He is gone from the tomb, gone home to Our Heavenly Father in whom Jesus had faith despite the pain and suffering He endured here on earth for all of us.

Let us now on this Easter morning take the time to look into the tomb of our own mortal bodies and see if it is empty after this our Lenten journey....our soul being the tomb that now needs to allow itself to be filled with the love, the mercy and compassion, the hope and joy, that the Risen Christ died for.

Let us be the disciple that went furthest into the tomb and upon seeing the linens, reflected and believed. May we be that disciple who can this morning begin afresh and anew our journey with Jesus in our souls and be more than ready to say ’I believe.’

On this Easter morning may I wish you and yours every blessing of hope, peace, love and joy. 

‘Christ is Risen. Alleluia’
The Constitutional Convention ~

Same Sex Marriage ~

Irish RC Bishops

I now reflect on Sunday 14th April, just one month after the naming of the new pope; and this day now being somewhat historic here in Ireland as the Constitutional Convention announced its overwhelming vote in favour for the Government to hold a referendum on same sex marriage.

It is perhaps only right that we remind ourselves of the response of the Irish Roman Catholic Bishops to the near reality of same sex marriage being made possible via referendum in Ireland.

A little something to keep in mind is that in the Republic, if you wish to get married in church, then you give 3 months notice to the civil registrar of your intention including date venue and officiant.

This is because the State licences religious celebrants to officiate at both the religious and civil ceremony which we collectively refer to as the wedding.

This is almost unique in Europe where otherwise you would be obliged to be civilly registered as husband and wife by going to the local state registrar and once that is done, whatever denomination you are (if any) you can then get married according to that denominations rituals.

The Irish Roman Catholic Bishops have threatened the Irish Government that if it proceeds with granting same sex couples the right to marry (as opposed to civil partnership as is currently stands) then they (the Bishops) will instruct their clergy to cease acting as state registrars at weddings and only perform the religious rituals.

This would be so done so as to protect the special place of marriage in society according to the Bishops but yet discriminate against same sex couples.

How contradictory to the pope they are behaving and indeed to Christ Himself whose message of ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you’ should be giving their Graces food for thought.

As a member of the LGBT community and as a priest, I have hope and confidence in Pope Francis who obviously believes in practising what he preaches but as for closer to home, well I will not hold my breath.

We are living in interesting times indeed, and the move towards joining New Zealand which recently became the 13th country in the world to permit and legally recognise same sex marriage with France now looking increasingly likely to be the 14th.

It is regrettable that Archbishop Vingt-Trois of Paris recently stated that to permit same sex marriage in France will result in protests and perhaps violence on the streets and such inflammatory language will encourage just that!!

No doubt the good Archbishop will then do the inevitable Pilate and wash his hands of his own comments when such trouble will occur.

Indeed, the problems have begun in France with 14,500 registrars saying they will not officiate at same sex marriage ceremonies if it becomes law.

Here in Ireland, one has to wonder will those in such positions to officiate exercise their consciences according to the Episcopal (bishop) diktat or according to the words of Christ:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

(John 13: 34-35

Papa Francisco ~ The New Pope

13th. March 2013

On Wednesday 13th March, I was travelling on the train towards Belfast when my mobile phone rang with a colleague advising me that a new pope had been elected and the announcement from the balcony of St Peters was imminent.

I had a flashback by almost 8 years to when the exact same moment the announcement of now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was made and the sinking feeling so many people experienced.

My prayer as I sat waiting to hear the new pope being named was that the gift of early retirement of Benedict XVI would not have been squandered by the cardinals at this critical juncture of the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

And thank God they did not fail us or indeed the Holy Spirit as then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was announced as the 265th successor to Saint Peter.

When I eventually got to see the announcement for myself, with the new pontiff stepping out on the balcony, the names of two popes cmae to mind right away – Blessed John XXIII (he who established Vatican II) and Paul VI who succeeded him.

Blessed John XXIII unleashed the Holy Spirit in the church through the calling of Vatican II and always seemed to have that most basic and simple of ways about him which typified his being a man of the earth and of the people.

Paul VI (despite the Humanae Vitae debacle) steered the church through difficult times post-Vatican II and done it in a strict but humane way, most notably the improved relations between Orthodox and Catholic.

Firstly, let me reflect on Pope Francis or ‘Papa Il Poverello’ as he has become known which means the Pope of the Poor Little One and this is very evident with every word, gesture and deed he has uttered, implemented and imparted.

Gone is the majestic vestments and clothing, most notably the red Prada leather shoes, the red mozetta (cape), the sharing of the bus-ride with his cardinals, back to the Santa Martha hotel after being elected as pope, where he also insisted on paying his bill and now lives.

He has chosen a gold plated ring over the ornate Fishermans Ring normally worn by pontiffs; he has kept his own plain silver pectoral cross and wears regular clergy clothing under the white papal cassock.

I could go on about these minor but important changes in symbolic terms, but it is important to note that he has gone further than just mere clothing etc in his duties.

He has visited local churched to celebrate Mass and after which he goes outside and greets all who attend Mass and chats, shakes hands and blesses each and all.

‘Preach always....and use words where necessary’(St Francis of Assisi)He visited the juvenile prison for the washing of the feet, and caused some consternation when he washed the feet of (wait for it now) 2 young women and one of whom was not even catholic!!

Oh the humanity of him....

Each time he speaks, the words of mercy, compassion, love and justice come from his mouth and practised by him in deed and action.

One only has to reflect upon him lifting the child from an audience and holding him dear to him and giving the child a kiss of peace to which the child reacted and hugged the pope, before returning the kiss of peace.

Oh the humility of him....

He has decried the abuse of minors in the church and has instructed swifter justice be brought against those who have betrayed the people of God, with more excommunications and laicisations than heretofore promised.

Oh the honesty of him.... 

‘Where there is despair, hope’(St Francis of Assisi)

Secondly, I firmly believe that he will hold the line on the church teachings on many issues as all and any pope before him has done but he is reaching out in a way not really seen before and I only hope and pray that he continues as he has begun and indeed wish and pray for him that he be guided at all times by the teachings of St Francis.

This holding the line on church teachings has become very evident and to the fore in the last while with Francis continuing the process begun under now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in relation to the American nuns and sisters.

This has been a questionable, divisive and very challenging process and looks as if it is going to take a lot of patience and understanding before it ever reaches an amicable conclusion.It is a time of great change and challenge within the hierarchy and indeed for all of us who remain on the fringes – whether by choice or otherwise – and not unlike St Francis, as we ourselves seek guidance,

Let the Holy Spirit guide us so that

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light; andWhere there is sadness, joy.

If Pope Francis can do it, what excuse do we have for not doing it?
Statement Upon The
Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI
February 11th. 2013

It is my firm belief that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has been as divisive and almost as schismatic as those he (falsely) accused of being so during his tenure in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)!”

As I write this piece on this the last day of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, these words have come back to mind.

Reflecting upon the last almost 8 years of his being in charge, I feel it has been a very trying, challenging and indeed unchristian pontificate for so many throughout the world and indeed very close to home as well.

We need only bring to mind the recent publishing of the threat of excommunication against a priest for daring to suggest the possibility of women clergy; the blame being heaped upon the gay community by Cardinal Turkson in relation to the child abuse perpetrated by clergy and this then followed up with the claim that the Pope Emeritus was ‘forced out of office by a gay cabal’ and then the cancelling of the Soho Masses in London.

It has been a pontificate of great and many challenges for him as he himself has stated, but it was also one of great trial and patience for many of us as well as highlighted above.

As a community we deserve better and indeed the words of one Mrs Agnes Brown (yes she of Mrs Brown’s Boys) come to mind when challenging the young curate to impart a blessing on her gay sons upcoming nuptials: “Where in the Bible does it say that any kind of love is wrong? Sure love is love is love!!”

And was it not Jesus Himself who said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ (John13:34-35)

What the church needs now, from the top down, is a clergy that is guided and led by the Holy Spirit and indeed by the time you get to read this piece that a new Pope will have assumed the throne of Peter and may well be preparing for the Easter vigil and ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (to the city and the world) homily from the balcony of St Peters.

My sincerest wish is that whosoever has been elected is not someone who will continue the great homophobic bashing and discrimination in the name of Jesus as has been the case heretofore with the Roman Catholic Church.

At this season of Easter, I sincerely hope that a new light, spirit and love will have made itself known in Conclave through the Holy Spirit and a Christian cardinal elected to guide and lead. Amen.

As for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I wish him well in his retirement.
Tréadlitir Nollaig - 2012 -  Christmas Pastoral Letter

‘An Solas Fírinneach a shoilsíonn gach aon duine, bhí Sé ag teacht ar an saol.’(Eoin 1:9)

‘The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.’
(John 1:9)

These words coming from the Gospel of John today serve to remind us 2000 years later that despite the passing of time, the importance of the coming light are as relevant now as then.We are all only too well aware of the straitened times in which we live...very difficult, challenging and stressful times for everyone at one stage or another.

And yet in the time of Jesus birth, there were no doubt the same kind of worries and difficulties for Mary and Joseph as they began their journey....an expectant mother worried about her child, a father worrying about his expectant wife and the child she was due to give birth to and indeed worried grandparents to be as well hoping for a safe birth.

They undertook a journey filled with fear, courage and indeed with faith which as we are all only too well aware led to Mary bringing forth into the world the baby Jesus.His birth brought hope, joy and indeed His birth was also the birth of faith....a faith which has continued down through the millennia to the present despite the darkness...faith which has guided, inspired, shaped and been such a source of strength to so many gone before us, and please God, to yet come.

In October of this year, Pope Benedict 16th declared a Year of Faith and perhaps now we ourselves can today begin – like Mary and Joseph did over 2000 years ago - our own journey of developing and indeed deepening our relationship with God through the birth of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.This journey is not restricted to anyone or indeed should it deny anyone....God is not open to the few and closed to the many in any way, shape or form so we should not close ourselves to Him in any way, shape or form.Maybe in the current climate we should consider beginning that journey – like Mary and Joseph did all that time ago – by accepting God in our lives.

He gave us His Son on this day as a sign of His faith in us and surely this small step we can make can but bring great joy and hope to our lives.As our faith develops and deepens then we can become like John the Baptist – we may become witnesses to the love of God through His Son Jesus and then we may bring the message of love and hope to others.And let us begin on this day of days by our checking in on those in our community who may be elderly, frail in mind and body, who live alone or lonely, and indeed those we know ourselves that would love for us to call on them and give them some of our time.It is the least we can do, and it would mean so much to them and as we all know every journey begins with the first step.

Today we can rejoice, today we can be full of hope and joy and today we can begin our journey in faith with the new-born Jesus towards deepening our faith in God and bring His light back into a world that could certainly do with it.

Let us go from here today filled with the love, joy, hope and faith of the newborn Jesus and let us become as John the Baptist – a light that overcomes the darkness in our own lives and the lives of others.That light is our faith, and our faith is God!

Cách beannacht oraibh, 

+Joseph

Episcopus Auxilio

Christmas 2012