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Christmas Message from Bishop William Crean – December 2022


A Chairde, Dear Friends in Christ,

The world is at war. After the pandemic which hasn’t quite gone away, we rightly fear what’s next. A viral outbreak in Wuhan, China in 2019 has left the whole world reeling. It triggered a sequence of events that have touched the lives of all nations, rich and poor, north and south. The economic impact of the mix of Covid, conflict and climate crisis is a volatile cocktail that threatens global harmony and prosperity. Our small island nation is vulnerable in this turmoil. In fact, its impact is being felt already in many people’s lives, especially the less well-off and those forced to migrate because of conflict.

In this new situation great credit is due to so many people who have responded with a warm welcome and personal hospitality to the people of Ukraine and others fleeing danger. Credit is due equally to local authorities and politicians who worked vigorously to meet these challenges. Meanwhile, inflation has taken hold and everyone is ‘feeling the pinch’ of price increases. In this situation, we can easily be tempted to turn in on ourselves and resent the needs of those who have been forced out of their homes. Thankfully we have not done so. Generosity abounds even in difficult times.

The Christmas festival brings out the best in most people. Hearts are softened by the prevailing goodwill. The vulnerability of the Christ child of Bethlehem tends to turn everything upside down. For those who are open to the deeper mystery of ‘the divine amongst us’ will appreciate the ‘real meaning’ of these days. It is a spiritual event of global and universal importance. It is anything but a fairy-tale or ephemeral myth of bygone days. It speaks to humanity today in its turbulence. It can speak to your heart and life in a new way today. It can be difficult for many because the church has been shown to be sinful in so many ways. However, we must try to avoid confusing our faith in Jesus, the Christ, the anointed one and his Church which is made up of people from your families and mine.

In these fraught times, I wish you and yours the blessing of peace and serenity of spirit. You might consider revisiting your most treasured memories of being happy and blessed in life. Value your families, your friends and neighbours, despite their faults! Over these days of celebrations, we could do well to heed the advice of St. Paul when writing to the people of Colossae.

“Let the message of Christ, in all its richness find a home in you.

Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom.

With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and inspired songs to God.”



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