We hope and pray that Christmas is a time of renewed faith in God’s great love and mercy, a time of peace and joy, shared with family and friends.  As a parish community, we acknowledge that Christmas can be a challenging and difficult time for some. We all long to make sense out of our misfortunes and struggles in the past year and our separations from loved ones through distance and misunderstanding. We want to live in God’s peace within the messiness of life.

Mothers and fathers who have lost children may have difficulty even viewing the baby in the manger.
Single people are reminded during this season of family that they do not have one of their own.
People who have lost jobs or simply do not have money to spend are reminded of their inadequacies during this season of plenty.

No matter the community or parish, suffering and unfortunate circumstances come out of hiding during the season that our culture says is “merry and bright”. The first Christmas after you lose someone you may not feel like celebrating, but you will ‘go along with it’ for the kids, for the family. It will hurt. The presents not bought. The chair not sat in. The memories of past Christmases. But you will get through it. If you can – thank God for the Christmases you had with them. Light a candle. Cry. Start a new tradition in their memory.

May we all enter into the true spirit of Christmas by welcoming Christ anew into our lives and may we reach out to someone who is in special need this Christmas.

(adapted from an article by Rev Ron Raab CSC)