It isn't all bad news 

ITS GREAT THAT CHRISTMAS IS CELEBRATED in the middle of winter. That gives us something to look forward to as the days get shorter and the weather becomes less pleasant. And occurring just after the winter solstice it has the added bonus, that when the Christmas celebrations are over, the days begin to lengthen again and we can look forward to spring and new life.

This is particularly appropriate this year as the Covid pandemic continues to seriously disrupt our lives, and in many cases threaten people's jobs and livelihoods. The boost and distractions that Christmas gives us are especially welcome when we have to cope with all the restrictions. We also have a glimmer of hope that there may at last be some light at the end of the tunnel, and that a vaccine may beome available to allow us to return to some sort of normality.

And the Christian message of Christmas is so relevant in all this. Because what we celebrate is the amazing fact that Jesus Christ, the son of God, became a human being; that the creator of the whole universe became one of us. As a result, we all have the wonderful hope of eternal life, because Jesus died for us and rose again from the dead. Therefore death is not the end for us. But that is not all. Jesus also lived an ordinary life just like us with problems similar to ours, which started right at his birth when there was no room for his parents at the inn and he was born in a stable. And he knows what suffering means, because he went through a lot of agony and was brutally killed on the cross.

So we can be sure that Jesus knows what we are going through and is with us in this difficult time. My wish for you is that, despite everything, the celebration of Christmas will bring joy to your life and give you new hope for 2021

May God bless you this Christmas.

Deacon Klaus Reidel

St Bede's Catholic church