Archbishop's notes: December 2020

By Archbishop Malcolm McMahon

I have to admit that I am a sucker for Christmas. There is so much that I like about the preparation for the celebrations: the shopping, the decorations and the warm atmosphere amongst people including strangers, but nothing can beat Midnight Mass and the wonderful liturgy.

At the heart of all this is a child who is born in the most difficult of circumstances, yet he has come to save the world. That event shatters all of our expectations and brings us to a point where our understanding of God as mercy and love becomes real. Our man-made Christmas fades as it is outshone by the glory of God who is with us.
 
This Christmas is not an easy one for many thousands of people because of Covid, and though there is some light in the distance, the immediate prospect looks very bleak despite some hope that families will be reunited and that a vaccine will soon be widely available.

But we are not just waiting, because the light of Christmas is made present now by the numerous volunteers who are bringing food and comfort to those who are in material need or are simply lonely. Of course, that is what the mystery of the incarnation really is – you can now be Christ to others and bring some light into their lives. It will be a light that won’t be put out after the festivities are over but will shine through you for ever.