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WHEN THE FAMILY GATHERS
The 10.30am Mass today is a “Family Mass”. On this occasion, the younger children among us take leading roles in the celebration and, with just a week before Christmas, offer an interpretation of the Bethlehem story. This may mean some disruption, as the youngsters may not get everything in the right order, or may not be clearly heard by everyone. Perhaps their excitement will disturb the silence many are used to; others may find this Mass more informal than usual.
Yes, things may be a little different, but this is one occasion we should all “rejoice and be glad” to be part of. The fact that our children want to be with us older folk, and want to participate by sharing their understanding of the coming of Jesus, speaks well of their families and their schooling, and tells us the story of God’s love revealed in Jesus is very much alive for the next generation.
The scene might accurately portray the “chaos” not only of the first Christmas, when there was overcrowding and general mayhem, but the situation when any family gets together. Noisy arrivals, constant chatter, kitchen mess, bedding everywhere, excitement and nonsense! There might be exhaustion at the end but no one really minds. It was so lovely just being together!
This is my prayer for our parish family as we near Christmas and on into 2018:
May we each know the strength of togetherness and be grateful for
our differences. May we pause in our busyness to look in wonder
at the beauty about us. May we honour the poverty of the
first Christmas and know the richness of the peace it brings.
May we welcome laughter, gift joy to every moment, give thanks for
everything and journey on with hope-filled hearts.