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Sermon for 1 January 2012



My Dear People,

What a joyous feast we have today - The Holy Mother of God. Her title is the greatest - Theotikos in the Greek. It is very appropriate at this time because we are so near to the feast when she actually gave birth and became the "Mother" shown to the Shepherds and the Wise men. Now she is given to the world by her Divine Son from the Cross when he had completed his saving work. Jesus says to John: "Behold, your mother". It was all part of God's plan for our salvation. Her Son was not to return to heaven without leaving us the gift of his own mother as our mother and she has been seen as our mother ever since. St John it is said "made a place for her in his home". And so do we. Imagine the Church without the mother of God as a constant presence? It would lack the woman’s touch wouldn't it? That feminine, motherly, nurturing and comforting role of our Lady was there from the Acts of the Apostles when she stayed with the Apostles in the Upper Room awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. She was there encouraging the Apostles. It is no wonder the church spread so fast with our Lady present to the Apostles each day as they gave the Gosepl of Life to the waiting world and made thousands of new converts to "The Way" as our Faith was called in those early days.

The title Mother of God roots the Incarnation to our humanity. May is Mother of Christ Jesus who is God and Man. She did not give birth to the "Humanity" only but the whole person - God made Man.

The is the Theme of the Holy Father's Christmas Message to the City of Rome and to the whole World - Urbi et Orbi. So I am printing this for you to read - it is truly wonderful to read and I want you to read it.

Pope's Urbi et Orbi Address

Only the God Who Is Love, and the Love Which Is God, Could Choose to Save Us in This Way

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world!

Christ is born for us! Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to the men and women whom he loves. May all people hear an echo of the message of Bethlehem which the Catholic Church repeats in every continent, beyond the confines of every nation, language and culture. The Son of the Virgin Mary is born for everyone; he is the Saviour of all.

This is how Christ is invoked in an ancient liturgical antiphon: O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, hope and salvation of the peoples: come to save us, O Lord our God. Veni ad salvandum nos! Come to save us! This is the cry raised by men and women in every age, who sense that by themselves they cannot prevail over difficulties and dangers. They need to put their hands in a greater and stronger hand, a hand which reaches out to them from on high. Dear brothers and sisters, this hand is Jesus, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary. He is the hand that God extends to humanity, to draw us out of the mire of sin and to set us firmly on rock, the secure rock of his Truth and his Love (cf. Ps 40:2).

This is the meaning of the Child's name, the name which, by God's will, Mary and Joseph gave him: he is named Jesus, which means Saviour (cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31). He was sent by God the Father to save us above all from the evil deeply rooted in man and in history: the evil of separation from God, the prideful presumption of being self-sufficient, of trying to compete with God and to take his place, to decide what is good and evil, to be the master of life and death (cf. Gen 3:1-7). This is the great evil, the great sin, from which we human beings cannot save ourselves unless we rely on God's help, unless we cry out to him: Veni ad salvandum nos!; Come to save us!

The very fact that we cry to heaven in this way nalready sets us aright; it makes us true to ourselves: we are in fact those who cried out to God and were saved (cf. Esth [LXX] 10:3ff.). God is the Saviour; we are those who are in peril. He is the physician; we are the infirm. To realize this is the first step towards salvation, towards emerging from the maze in which we have been locked by our pride. To lift our eyes to heaven, to stretch out our hands and call for help is our means of escape, provided that there is Someone who hears us and can come to our assistance.

Jesus Christ is the proof that God has heard our cry. And not only this! God's love for us is so strong that he cannot remain aloof; he comes out of himself to enter into our midst and to share fully in our human condition (cf. Ex 3:7-12). The answer to our cry which God gave in Jesus infinitely transcends our expectations, achieving a solidarity which cannot be human alone, but divine. Only the God who is love, and the love which is God, could choose to save us in this way, which is certainly the lengthiest way, yet the way which respects the truth about him and about us: the way of reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation.

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, let us then turn to the Child of Bethlehem, to the Son of the Virgin Mary, and say: Come to save us! Let us repeat these words in spiritual union with the many people who experience particularly difficult situations; let us speak out for those who have no voice. Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us turn our gaze anew to the grotto of Bethlehem. The Child whom we contemplate is our salvation! He has brought to the world a universal message of reconciliation and peace. Let us open our hearts to him; let us receive him into our lives. Once more let us say to him, with joy and confidence: Veni ad salvandum nos!

SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE UNBORN CHILD. White Flower Sunday is next Sunday, 8th January and in St Edwards and St Kentigerns. This collection is to forward the struggle to keep the Pro Life argument on the table and to further the cause of mothers and babies and the weak and defenceless older people who are threatened with starvation and no water to kill them in hospital. They call it "mercy killing" but there is no mercy for the victim and certainly no choice!! Please read the hand outs. You have no idea how anti life we have become as a society. The babe in the womb is under far greater threat than the badger or the fox and that is a fact!! Fr T C

Christmas at St. Kentigern's

Bidding Prayers

Bidding prayers for Holy Mother of God 2012.

Priest: Let us adore the Son of God who became a son in a human family and who as the Eternal Word created and redeemed his Holy Mother Mary. We come in trust for all our needs.

Reader: By Your obedience to Mary and Joseph Lord, teach us how to respect proper authority and order in our families and in our country and our Government. Lord hear us.

By the love of your Mother, that filled your home at Nazareth, give our families the grace of love and peace and unity. Keep us loving one another and over looking faults. Lord hear us.

For families under stress at this time and especially those who are mourning the death of a member of their family – that God might restore them again to the joy of life and its great gift. Lord hear us.

For family life throughout the world that the scourge of divorce, new kinds of unions and attacks upon the family by those in power will in the end be defeated by those who long for justice and right. Lord hear us.

For those of our family who are sick: that the Child of Nazareth may reach out to them and heal them and comfort them: Margaret Quinn, Fr Vince Cavey, Maureen Waring, Mary Tivnan, Franca Rizzo, Sister Geraldine Walsh, Sam O'Keefe.

Lord hear us.

For all those who have died that by their reunion with Jesus, Mary and Joseph in heaven they may find their completion and heavenly bliss: Brian Lever, Bernadette Clinton, Kochappan Malppan, Mrs Patel, Brenda Strafford, Myra Townhill, Albert Cullen, Mary Flynn.

Lord hear us.

For all those souls whose anniversaries occur about this time: Teresa Hamilton (9am), Ann and Austin and Ann Hopkins, (11am) Ida Sheehan, Margaret Dunne, Grace McDermott, Margaret and James Kinsella, Elizabeth O'Neill, Johnny Hosey, Noreen Finn, Tom Edmondson.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Mary was the Mother in Nazareth and the spouse of Joseph - may she pray for us and our families now on this feast of her Motherhood. O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee...Hail Mary...

Priest: Father, in the Holy Mother of God you have given us a true model of the Christian virtues of Faith and Charity. Grant that by following Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their love for each other we may come to our heavenly home together as a family. Hear and answer our heartfelt prayers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.