As Christmas draws nearer, the adverts on TV and in newspapers and magazines put on the pressure to seduce us into buying all types of presents we wish to make it a really happy Christmas!
This lowly scene of the manger in Bethlehem is the one to keep in as we prepare for Christmas, for it is there that the true happiness of Christmas is to be found. There was no luxury in the stable—that was only to be found in the palace of king Herod in Jerusalem where there was the warmth of great fires, carpeted floors, lights everywhere from long-burning torches, tables laden food and wine, and servants ready to attend to the needs of everyone. But for our King, the Babe of , the Saviour, how different it was.
The Holy Family were homeless that night, having had to leave their home in Nazareth where Mary and Joseph had everything ready for the birth of the Child, and journey to Bethlehem to satisfy the whim of a Roman emperor who wished to know how many people there were in his vast empire. The night cold, for the gospels tell us there was snow on the ground; the stable would have no heating other than the warmth of the animals that sheltered there; the only light would be a lantern to welcome Christ the Light of the world. We can only try to imagine what food they managed to bring with them, as they also had to bring everything for the birth of their child. The cot made by St. Joseph was left behind; the cot for the child would now be the manger in the stable. It was into this simplicity and poverty that Christ chose to be born, the King of kings.
No one could ever say they were poorer that Christ, and this is why so many of the poor of the world and the homeless immigrants fleeing from persecution can identify themselves so easily with the Holy Family.
Let Christmas be the celebration of the birth of our Saviour, but may we remind ourselves that the best gift we can give to the Babe of Bethlehem this Christmas, - is our LOVE.
May our presents be simple symbols of our affection and friendship, and what we would have spent on expensive presents, may the difference go to the poor
Visiting Confessor next Sunday
Fr Roddy McAuley will hear confessions next Sunday at the following times;
Spean Bridge: p.m. — 3.30 p.m.
Roy Bridge: 3.45 p.m. — 4.30 p.m.
If you have not been to confession for some time, this is a great opportunity not to be missed.
It will ensure you make the best preparation to receive into your souls at Christmas,
Ask yourself, when were you last at confession?
It the sacrament that brings so much peace and joy and so easy to receive.