Christmas and New Year

Year A readings

The Season of Christmas, more than any other religious festival, has the power to capture heart and imagination. Nostalgia clearly plays a part, but here there is something deeper, something richer, something that answers a forgotten longing.

This longing is beautifully captured in the biblical imagery that takes us from Advent to Christmas and the beginning of a new year.

We are that people who walked in darkness and longed for light. We have, in our doubt and disappointment, lived in a land of deep shadow. Hidden beneath the passing of our days there is a longing for Good News. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness and proclaims salvation.”

We cling to the Christmas story because beneath its timeless familiarity is a truth that illuminates forgotten hope. We recognise that our story, limited as it is, has a grander setting. Our story finds its beginning with the Word who was with God from the beginning. Ours is not an isolated story, for it had its beginning in him through whom all life came to be. We welcome him as the light shining in our darkness. We have, at times, preferred our darkness and neglected to acknowledge him: but still he insists. He offers himself to us as the Word made flesh, living among us. From the hum­il­ity of his coming he calls us to acceptance. “He came to his own, and his own did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become the children of God.”

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