Tuesday 24 December 2019

Tomorrow is At Hand...

Tomorrow we celebrate a great event; the birth of God-made-man in the flesh of Blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin. It is a great thing we do, to celebrate His birth, but I would prefer that these celebrations were nine months earlier, that we might be reminded that life begins not at birth but at Conception. For nine months Our Lord was hidden from view in the womb of the Virgin, for it was truly God who was living and growing there; uniting to the Divine nature the nature of Man, that man might be redeemed by the Divine: “Unto us a child is born; a son is given…and His name will be Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9v6), thus dear St Joseph was told, “…do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are name Him Jesus, for He is the one who is to save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1v20,21). The depths of this great Mystery of the Incarnation may never be fully grasped in this world.

We may wonder too that the very DNA of Mary, Mother of the God-man, will taken up into heaven when her own life was over; that her Divine Son would welcome her into heaven in full recapitulation of all that was done by Adam and Eve from the very beginning, saying as He receives His Holy Mother: “At lasts this is flesh of My Flesh; Bone of My Bone”. No wonder the angels bow down as she enters heaven, for the flesh and blood she gave to Christ is now assumed into heaven -and His bodily glorification is somehow more complete, with every shred of His DNA being glorified.

Sadly the word around us does not recognise the great Mystery that is brought before us on Christmas Day: the birth of the Man-God. For the worldly soul, Christmas may be acknowledge as having come from Christianity, but has become for them no more than a celebration of family and a time of jollity. We Catholics on the other hand, rejoice that the uniting of the nature of man with the Divine Nature makes mankind children of God; the family of God. We Catholics therefore go beyond jollity to exultation and deep spiritual joy. For we shall look upon the crib and remember why Our Lord came to us: This is how much He loves us: that he  came to a suffering, dying world as one of us; came to suffer and die with us and for us, that He  may rise again and make death the door to eternal contentment and joy. As we gaze upon the representation of this in our family or parish crib, lets us remember that in the shepherds the poor are promised riches beyond all telling; the Magi given sight of Divine Wisdom; Wisdom beyond the learning of this world; a wisdom that the masters of this age do not know, while the star which lit up the sky to lead them is but a pale reflection of His Divine light which resides in the heavenly City; the New Jerusalem; “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminates it. And the Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21v23)


  1. Theresa & I had the immense pleasure of attending Solemn High Mass in the EF at the Oratorian church in York on Christmas Eve at midnight & what a wonderful experience. We had carols from 11.15pm then the blessing of the crib before Mass. A wonderful choir (not known which one) sang the Ordinary of the Mass to a setting which sounded almost medieval & the Proper according the the Liber. We need such celebrations in Newcastle to allow more laity to benefit from the beauty of our Catholic tradition. At present we seem to be going down the road of wanting the congregation to be too 'involved' physically in the Mass whereas it seems that there is less spiritual involvement where we should be "lifting up our hearts & minds to God".
    We hope you enjoyed your Christmas Fr Gary & wish you a Happy, Peaceful & (most importantly)more Healthy 2020. God Bless you Father, you are in our prayers.

    1. Thank you for this David. It sounds as though you had an inspiring Christmas Mass. I am constantly saying that participation is in "the lifting up of the mind and heart" to God; the type we have to do is external action rather than internal contemplation, which meas we never engage with the heart of the liturgy. It is an aspect of the non-hierarchical Church; "everyone must do their activity" is the idea, which means we are focused on doing rather than praying, and so nearly every cerebration of the Novus Ordo misses the mark of true liturgy.

  2. Thank you father for a most illuminating post.

    1. Thank you for thanks, Paul! God Bless you and yours.


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