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Sermon for 30 December 2012


Message from the Parish Priest.

I wish all you families the blessing of the Holy family at this time of the Year. Yes, your family is holy and it holy to God in its structure, its creation of new life and its sustaining familial relationships which form us deeply mind and soul. It all depends of the family does it not and the Holy family is where Jesus was believed in and adored. If our family is centred on Him then we will fulfil Godís plan. It was great to see so many people crowding into church for the Christmas Day feast So many young ones returning to be with their families for Christmas from college and faraway jobs and training of all kinds. A great blessing on all our children no matter how big they are.

This week I have decided to use the Holy fatherís words to the Universal Church on Christmas Eve- his Midnight Mass Sermon in other words about ďKnocking at the InnĒ. What sublime wisdom.



Is There Still No Room in the Inn, Pope Asks.

Encourages Imitating the Shepherds' Curiosity to See What God Has Said to Us.

VATICAN CITY, December 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).

Benedict XVI is asking if Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus can find room in the inn even today, or if we too are guilty of turning away God himself.

The Pope made this question during tonight's Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Holy Father suggested that our attitude toward the homeless, towards refugees and migrants "takes on a deeper dimension: do we really have room for God when he seeks to enter under our roof? Do we have time and space for him? Do we not actually turn away God himself?"

The Pontiff lamented that the "faster we can move" with all of modernity's "time-saving appliances," the less time we have. "And God? The question of God never seems urgent," he said. "Our time is already completely full."

The Bishop of Rome asked if God has any place even in our thinking.

"If thinking is to be taken seriously, it must be structured in such a way that the 'God hypothesis' becomes superfluous," he said. "There is no room for him. Not even in our feelings and desires is there any room for him. We want ourselves. We want what we can seize hold of, we want happiness that is within our reach, we want our plans and purposes to succeed. We are so 'full' of ourselves that there is no room left for God. And that means there is no room for others either, for children, for the poor, for the stranger."

Sounds of heaven

In contrast, the Pope noted the song of the angels, who begin their hymn with the words "Glory to God in the highest."

"God is glorious," Benedict declared. "God is pure light, the radiance of truth and love. He is good. He is true goodness, goodness par excellence. The angels surrounding him begin by simply proclaiming the joy of seeing Godís glory. Their song radiates the joy that fills them. In their words, it is as if we were hearing the sounds of heaven. There is no question of attempting to understand the meaning of it all, but simply the overflowing happiness of seeing the pure splendour of Godís truth and love. We want to let this joy reach out and touch us: truth exists, pure goodness exists, pure light exists. God is good, and he is the supreme power above all powers. All this should simply make us joyful tonight, together with the angels and the shepherds."

The Holy Father went on to speak of the second part of the angels' message -- "peace on earth among men" -- considering the role of religion in history's wars, and in peace.

"It is true that religion can become corrupted and hence opposed to its deepest essence, when people think they have to take Godís cause into their own hands, making God into their private property," he said. "[...] [Y]et it is not true that denial of God would lead to peace. If Godís light is extinguished, manís divine dignity is also extinguished. Then the human creature would cease to be Godís image, to which we must pay honour in every person, in the weak, in the stranger, in the poor. Then we would no longer all be brothers and sisters, children of the one Father, who belong to one another on account of that one Father. The kind of arrogant violence that then arises, the way man then despises and tramples upon man: we saw this in all its cruelty in the last century. Only if Godís light shines over man and within him, only if every single person is desired, known and loved by God is his dignity inviolable, however wretched his situation may be."

God's peace

The Holy Father invited prayer for the places where Christ lived and for the town of Bethlehem. "Let us pray that Israelis and Palestinians may be able to live their lives in the peace of the one God and in freedom," he said. "Let us also pray for the countries of the region, for Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and their neighbours: that there may be peace there, that Christians in those lands where our faith was born may be able to continue living there, that Christians and Muslims may build up their countries side by side in Godís peace."

The Pontiff concluded the homily by again encouraging the faithful to give space to God.

"The shepherds made haste," he said. "Holy curiosity and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. God does not feature among the things that require haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say.

"And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the one truly important thing. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us."

Bidding Prayers

Bidding prayers for Holy Family 2012.

Priest: Let us adore the Son of God who became a son in a human family and submitted to Mary and Joseph. We come in trust for all our needs.

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

By the love 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 in your mercy.

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 in your mercy.

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 in your mercy.

For those of our family who are sick: that the Child of Nazareth may reach out to them and heal them and comfort them. James O'Rourke, Kathleen Burke, Mary Rose Smith, Mary Molloy, Anthony Dwyer, Peter Ramsbottom, Mr Azicati. 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: Rosella Devlin, Maisie Dwyer, Peter McCormack and Kathleen Doherty, Lee Haughton.Lord hear us.

For all those souls whose anniversaries occur about this time. Ann and Austin and Ann Hopkins, (11.30 New Years Day), Seamus McKeown, Philip Smith, Sarah Lindley, Paddy Dolan, Robert Burke, John Burn, Brenda and Arthur Strafford, Teresa Hamilton.

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 the Holy Family. O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee...Hail Mary.

Priest: God, our Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth you have given us a true model of the Christian Home. 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.