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Christmas

Looking anew at the Nativity scene (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 8th January 2016)



After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Heron, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. “Where is the infant king of the Jews?” they asked. “We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.”

Today's Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12):

'After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.

The greatest ever Christmas gift

Jesus is waiting to embrace each and every one of us

“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).


It's often hard as human beings to admit we are tired or weary.  We have an in-built pride that means we often brush aside any notion of weakness and soldier on.  But sometimes we have to stop and appreciate that we do have limitations and that we do need help.


In the scripture passage above Jesus is giving us the option of going to him for that help.

Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Was it originally a pagan celebration?


It's that time of year when we encounter the usual arguments over Christmas, in particular the argument over the origins of Christmas and its relation to pagan celebrations.


In this Catholic Answers article, apologist Jon Sorensen puts to bed the claims that a pagan festival was 'stolen' by Christians for Christmas: http://www.catholic.com/blog/jon-sorensen/why-december-25

Your Father wants one thing for you this Christmas...

 
Midnight Mass Gospel (Luke 2:1-14):
 
'Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census – the first – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born.

Westminster Party Leaders Focus on Christianity in Christmas Message (Praise the Lord!)

 
Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband have spoken about the centrality of Christ and the importance of Christian values in the UK in their Christmas messages.
 
In a continuing theme of celebrating the UK's Christianity, David Cameron said that, "Among the joyous celebrations we will reflect on those very Christian values of giving, sharing and taking care of others."
He continued: "This Christmas I think we can be very proud as a country at how we honour these values through helping those in need at home and around the world.

Louis Van Gaal right to question festive football schedule

 
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has questioned the hectic English Premier League schedule over Christmas and bemoaned the time he will need to take away from his family.
 
Van Gaal, whose full name is Aloysius Paulus Maria (or Aloysius Paul Mary), said: "I have a wife, kids and grandchildren, and I cannot see them at Christmas."
 
While the United boss later accepted that he needs to adapt to the way of life in the Premier League, his comments are quite refreshing in focusing on his family at this important time of year.

Dwelling on the Word of God: A Child is Born for Everyone (Tuesday 24th December 2013)

 
From today’s Psalm (Psalm 88):
 
‘I will sing forever of your love, O Lord’
 
 
Sing!  Rejoice!  Dance!  Because the Lord our Saviour, our hope and our light, is coming! 
 
Sin had made its way in the world, and people were becoming desperate.  Poverty and disease were rife.  Inequality spanned the globe and hatred stretched to the four corners of the earth.  Where honour was bestowed on one man, jealousy rose in another.  Where riches were left to one family, poverty was inevitably passed down to another.

Dwelling on the Word of God: Rejoicing at Mary’s ‘Yes’ (Friday 20th December 2013)

 
Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38):      
 
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen!

Dwelling on the Word of God: Trusting in God’s Will as Joseph did (Wednesday 18th December 2013)

 
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 1:18-24):
 
‘This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.

Dwelling on the Word of God: Family Trees (Tuesday 17th December 2013)

 
From today’s Gospel (Matthew 1:1-17):
 
'A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, 
Isaacthe father of Jacob….
 
....Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.'
 
 
This isn’t the whole genealogy of Jesus but it is the beginning and the end of it as detailed in Matthew’s Gospel.  Nowadays everyone is fascinated by their family tree.
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