25th December 2017 – Christmas Day

       Today a saviour has been born to us  He is Christ the Lord
Fr Kerry joins me in wishing you all a Happy Christmas.  We welcome those who are home for Christmas, may you enjoy these special days with your loved ones. We pray for those who can’t make it home and for their families.  We remember those who have been bereaved, your loved ones are remembered in our Masses. Thanks to everybody for all your support, we wish you peace, health and blessings throughout the year ahead.
Fr Billy

Christmas Message  
We are a redeemed people, and the work of our redemption began with the birth of a baby in Bethlehem.  Simple beginnings, no one noticed Joseph and the young expectant mother who had travelled a long journey from Nazareth.  No one noticed them and there was no room for them.  At a salvation moment of universal importance, the mother gave birth in a stable and laid her baby in a manger, a feeding trough.  They were alone and lonely in the town of David as the son of David was born, no barriers between this baby and the messy realities of the life of the poor.
Then, in the darkness of that holy night, the glory of God shone around a group of lowly, despised shepherds, men not allowed even to enter a synagogue, and God’s message was entrusted to them: today a saviour has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.
For us too, a light shines at Christmas, even in the dark moments of our lives, and the people who walk in darkness have indeed seen a great light.  May we take notice of that light and learn to experience the joy of the message of the angels and the joy of the Gospel of Christ.  May we hear the angels sing: Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to those of good will.

 Fr Kerry’s Grace before Christmas Dinner
Loving God, on this Christmas Day we give
thanks that Jesus, your Son, has come into
our world bringing us gifts of peace and joy.
Bless us as we sit together at this table for
our Christmas meal.
Bless the food we share and help us to
remember those who are hungry.
Be with our loved ones away from home (pause).
Bless and heal those who are sick, those
who are lonely.
We remember our departed loved ones (pause).
May the joy of this feast give us strength and
light, now and in the days ahead.
We thank you Lord for all your blessings. Amen.

Family Blessing
Next Sunday December 31st is the Feast of the Holy Family. A special blessing for 2018 will be offered to families at each of our Masses next weekend. We will recite the World Meeting of Families Prayer for Families at the end of Mass and then those families present or represented will be blessed with these words:
As you seek to live as a family
in the image of the Holy Family
of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may God bless each of you,  and those you love,
the Father , the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

World Meeting of Families Prayer for Families
God, our Father,
We are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,
One family, in the Spirit of your love.
Bless us with the joy of love.
Make us patient and kind, gentle and generous,
welcoming to those in need.
Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.
Protect all families with your loving care,
Especially those for whom we now pray:
[We pause and remember family members and others by name].
Increase our faith, Strengthen our hope,
Keep us safe in your love,
Make us always grateful
for the gift of life that we share.
This we ask, through Christ our Lord, Amen