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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
George Michael’s recently released “December Song” yearns, in a melancholy manner, for lost, somewhat faith-filled Christmasses. It has caught quite a few imaginations, and rung quite a few bells. One verse cries:

“There was always Christmas time, Jesus came to stay
I could believe in peace on Earth, And I could watch TV all day”

The Church’s celebration of Christmas is meant to make Jesus’s coming fresh, new – so that he does “come to stay” in our homes and in our hearts, and not go away again when we grow older, or when we pack up the decorations!

Jesus is offering himself to each of us this Christmas in a new way. He offers us new life in him. He offers to walk with us, to sustain us, to love us. This is what can stop Christmas becoming nostalgia, a feeling of something lost. Only keeping it fresh can do that. Only once again hoping and trying to surrender ourselves to Him can do this. No half-measures are ap-propriate here! Let’s all want, with His help, to give up old ways and take on new life. He could then do great things for our parish and give us grounds for “believing in peace on Earth”.

Many people through the centuries have described a significant moment where they turned to Him. Often times it is described as something very beautiful and, not infrequently, as something quite sudden. But for most it is not a big experience and it is not illuminated by lightning bolts or angels appearing. It is simply a choice to believe. It is sometimes a choice to begin following Christ. It is a choice to turn back to him fully in the sacrament of Reconciliation and say YES to his mercy. A choice to believe that in Holy Communion “Jesus is coming to stay” – permanently!

This Christmas He can renew our lives and our loves. Let’s let him, and hope and pray to be more open to receiving Him.

Let’s not let Christmas be mainly about “watching TV all day”, lest it become just another holiday to be nostalgic about. Let’s make our cribs more important than the TV. So that when we put the baby Jesus away for another year, we won’t be throwing the baby out with the bath water! This Christmas we trudge out to receive Jesus at Mass. Take him home with you.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:39 pm