What Are the Obstacles Preventing Christ From Being at Home With Us?

Should we party this Christmas or not?

This is a Coronavirus debate going on in the press, in the light of various politicians encouraging big Christmas celebrations to go ahead, while observing the present guidance. Boris Johnson said this Thursday, “We don’t want people to feel that they need to start cancelling things.” This he said after growing concern about the new strain of Covid.

Our own Archbishop, John Wilson, has posted a video encouraging people to come back to church as part of an initiative entitled ‘Come Home’. It recognises that at Christmas there is an increase in Mass attendance where those, who are culturally attached and loosely affiliated, come to church as families or individually.

We will be providing Invitation Cards for distribution by parishioners to interest friends or those who have drifted from practice. Also available soon will be a booklet entitled ‘Ultimate Relationship’ written by Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO).

This booklet is an ‘evangelistic tool that presents the Gospel clearly and simply providing an opportunity to respond to Christ’s invitation to a personal relationship’. We will be receiving copies of this booklet soon and it is suggested that these are handed out during the Christmas Masses to all who attend.

The tension for me is that we still have make sure that all who come feel safe while inviting people to come together to celebrate the coming of our Saviour. So please carry on wearing a mask at Mass and being respectful of how your fellow parishioners feel. Thank you.

On this second Sunday of Advent we heed John the Baptist’s call to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ in our own lives.

  • How do we welcome Christ into our home and our heart?
  • What is preventing us from welcoming him?
  • What are the obstacles (valleys and hills) that deter Christ or prevent Christ from being at home with us?

Think about an encounter with the healing Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There will be a special penitential service on Wednesday 22nd December at 7:30pm.

In the meantime, consider these words of Sylvester O’Flynn

“I have paths to straighten wherever my heart has deviated from loving God: whenever I have acted as if God’s all-seeing eye has turned away from me or whenever I allowed resentment or anger blind my remembrance of the way of charity.
The valleys to be filled in are the times when I have wandered from the sense of God’s presence: or when enthusiasm for God’s work is low.
The mountains to be laid low are the obstacles which I imagine to be insurmountable because I have forgotten to trust in God: or the hills to be levelled can be areas of pride where because I am good at something, I look down on others in judgement.”

Let us prepare our way for Our Lord.

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest