The festive season of Christmas is a time to look back at the events and happenings of the year just gone by and reflect on what has been. We look back, savour and enjoy the good times while acknowledging the difficult times as well.
A Time to look out for others
Christmas is a time that we become aware of those less well-off, less fortunate than ourselves. It is a time when we do our best to reach out to others with care, with concern, with Christian love. We remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Unfortunately, homelessness has reached almost epidemic proportions in our country and county and we continue to do what we can in order to alleviate that situation and fight poverty in any way.
Solidarity with people who have endured loss
Thoughts and prayers go also to the many people who have lost their lives as a result of tragedies on our roads, on our waterways, those who for whatever difficult circumstances in life and their own personal lives have taken their own lives and most of all their families who are left bereft and heartbroken.
Emigrants and Immigrants
At this time of the year our emigrants are very much on our minds. We welcome home those who have returned to be with us for the holiday period and our thoughts go out to those who could not come home. Welcome to those who have come to join us from other countries and enrich our work-force and culture by settling in our midst.
A time to look to the future with Hope and Joy
As Christians, we are people of hope and people of joy. Pope Francis frequently returns again and again to the great hope our faith offers us in a world of indifference and empty materialism. No matter what happens we carry this hope with us because of the Christ-event, the coming of Jesus Christ in the incarnation and through the redemption won for us through the Cross and Resurrection.
The incarnation that we celebrate came through the presence of a tiny vulnerable baby that had such potential and such good news for the human race. In a country in which the protection of such individuals is under deep threat we pray for a deep sense of respect for all forms of life from beginning to end.
At this special time of the year, this time of profound religious meaning I pray that the message of the Christ-Child would be reborn in our diocese, our parishes, in our homes, in our hearts and souls this Christmas season. Peace, joy, health, happiness, along with many blessings and graces to all for a joyful and fulfilling new year in 2018.
+ Fintan Monahan
Bishop of Killaloe