Christmas Reflections from Archbishop Patrick Kelly

1125661435_message01.jpg The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, has been reflecting on the Christmas Feast with Peter Heneghan.  He talks of Christmas as a strong Feast and a time of light in darkness, particularly as Christmas 2010 is being celebrated at a time of austerity and with a continuing conflict in Afghanistan.



In a Christmas message released today, Christmas Eve, Archbishop Kelly says:

2010 will be remembered as the year Pope Benedict XVI was among us. Wherever he went he proclaimed the loving wisdom, the wisest love of our God. And above all that wisdom and love, made manifest, as Blessed John Henry Newman taught us to sing: when it was so generous it brought among us the Son of God when all was sin and shame.

The Christmas story is one of strength for dark days. The only reason there are lights is because the Son of God came into darkness. It is a simple fact that there was no room at the Inn; the stable is not a romantic picture, it says it was a problematic beginning. The first visitors, the shepherds were not pillars of society, what does it mean that the first to come were people who needed to be offered a new way of life, new priorities and new values. All of this is there in every single Christmas card showing the crib. The Christmas story is not soft it is very strong.

Few of us are not drawn to remember dark days in our family’s story at this time of the year. But we do so with serenity and deep peace of mind in the midst of tears because in Pope Benedict’s words: ‘The Father of life is our physician par excellence and he does not cease to bend lovingly over suffering humanity’. Therefore Christmas shall be filled with peace and joy.

It says a lot for our City and for our whole community that visitors, including broadcasters, are welcomed. Our celebration of Midnight Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral is to be broadcast on BBC 1 this year and it will not just be the congregation gathered but the whole City reaching out through that Mass. Our opportunity to show light shining through the darkness.


Archbishop Kelly has also recorded a reflection for Vatican Radio which can be heard on their official website here  in it he says:

2010 will be remembered as the year Pope Benedict was among us. Wherever he went he proclaimed the loving wisdom, the wisest love of our God. And above all that wisdom and love, made manifest, as Blessed John Henry Newman taught us to sing: when it was so generous it brought among us the Son of God when all was sin and shame. On Christmas Day after I have celebrated Midnight Mass in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral, which will be televised on BBC, and when morning comes, celebrated Mass in Liverpool's Prison, I will make my way to enjoy Christmas dinner with my sister, But on the way I know what I must do: visit the grave where my Father, Mother and other sister are buried. Few of us are not drawn to remember dark days in our family’s story at this time of the year. But we do so with serenity and deep peace of mind in the midst of tears because in Pope Benedict’s words: The Father of life is our physician par excellence and he does not cease to bend lovingly over suffering humanity. Therefore Christmas shall be filled with peace and joy.