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Message From The Parish Priest

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FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT C + YEAR OF THE PRIESTS. + 20TH DECEMBER 2009. EXPECTANT MOTHER'S DAY. "O KEY OF DAVID"

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.

My Dear people,

Today our Holy Mother the Church focuses our eyes and hearts on the mother of the Saviour as she rushes with haste to the waiting cousin, the heavily pregnant Elizabeth to assist her. It is the mystery of the Visitation.

In this meeting of the two expectant mothers we have a paradigm of the entire Catholic Church in all its fullness and beauty. Here the two women (Mary being the new "Eve") greet one another with a holy blessing yet it is the voice of Mary (representing the future Church) which causes the Holy Spirit to fill Elizabeth's soul in prophesy and praise. She exclaims "why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord for as soon as your greeting reached my ears the child in my womb leapt for joy. Blessed is she for believing all that was promised to her by the Lord would be fulfilled..." There you are folks; I know that off by heart.

It is the encounter of all encounters for it causes our Lord - a little speck of a size a that point in our Lady's womb to do his first apostolic task as the Son of God. His presence in Mary is like his presence in the tabernacle. (Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months - exactly the time the Ark of the Covenant remained in Abinadad's House in King David's time - hence Mary for St Luke is the new Ark.)

The Church like Mary its Model and Prototype, is filled with the presence of Christ and her Motherly and apostolic voice greets new people as they enter into this world and bring about a response in the human heart and soul. The body and soul is filled with the Holy Spirit and we become one with Christ's Mystical Body and Temples of the Holy Spirit as we emerge from the womb we call Baptism. From then on all is new.

We cry out in prophesy too in acknowledging the Son of God loudly and clearly in our generation. As the greeting of he Church reaches their ears so many turn and receive the Saviour. Whole nations are often converted in this way in a short time like Mexico for instance. The faith spread of its own dynamism in Europe without any "master Plan". God guided the peoples and the Holy Spirit was present in our midst as he is now to those who believe that the promise made by the Lord would be fulfilled.

Mary still believed in the Promise even when driven into Egypt by Herod's murderous intent and design to destroy Jesus newly born and adored by the Magi.

Mary still believed in the Promise when she had to lay the newly born King of Kings in a cattle feeding trough for a make shift cot because there was no room for them in the Inn. May we too follow Mary as her dear children and believe in the Promise.

My dear people, our dear children at St Kentigern's and The Divine Mercy have recounted these great accounts in their Nativity Presentations in a most fresh and lively and wonderful manner and I thank the staff for the patient work in bringing the very best out of our young ones and imparting to them the great mystery of our Lord's Birth. How blest we are with two great schools and Loreto High too put on a great Advent Meditation at St John's Church with the feeder schools.

A very Happy and Holy Christmas to you all.

Father Tom Connolly



CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST 2009AD Year of the Priest

My Dear People,

The great feast of the Lord's Birth is upon us very soon. Time is made holy through our Saviour's birthday. God entered our time frame and became part of our story and participated in our human condition.

This is why we can come to Him with such confidence. The child of Bethlehem who opens his arms to welcome each one of us to the Crib is the same one who stretched out his hand to touch us in healing and who drew the Little Ones to his side in blessing. The same arms stretched out on the cross which became the tree of life for all humanity.

How blessed is this feast in that the Divine Son, born before time descended into our time and became so little that we could hold him and cuddle him.

It is a feast for family life for sure and however imperfect our family is, it is the one we have been given and we must treasure it and cherish it and do as much good as we can to make it happy and blessed.

Some of you will close this year for the first time without the presence of someone who you have loved much and who has died. Others will look back on this year with joy and gratitude for a wedding, a new baby or some other great joy. In good and bad times, the Christ child is with us. He too suffered the "Herods" of this world as soon as his mission got underway so he knows our problems.

May Jesus, newly born and his all holy Mother and step father St Joseph bless you all this Christmas

From Father George and myself - every grace and blessing.

Father Tom Connolly




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