scmo_banner_news.jpg


| 10th December 2004 | Modified: 16th October 2014 | Christianity, News Releases | Seen 32 times | Liked 0 times

10 December
Dec 10
10th December 2004

Travelling around our country at this present time, I am always moved to see Nativity scenes in our cities and towns, in our shops and in our homes. At the beginning of the Advent Season, along with other Church Leaders in Edinburgh and a great congregation in the open air in the middle of Princes Street, I assisted at the re-dedication of our city s Christmas crib. That Nativity scene stands at heart both of a great shopping centre and at the heart of our civic life and the national life of Scotland. I am delighted that so many similar Nativity Scenes are evident in public places throughout Scotland, as well as in innumerable churches and at the heart of so many family circles.  

We might ask ourselves what would our society be like if it were indeed ˜re-Christianised .  

First of all, I am sure that the key lies in seeing what is sacred to God s heart and should be to ours “ human life! Where it is threatened, we should find ways of expressing the hope that will protect us. Where it is nurtured, we should find ways to encourage and enhance it. In a re-Christianised Scotland we must do more to value and protect marriage and family life and especially our children. My mind goes back to a visit to Chiapas in Mexico at the beginning of the year 1999. I was travelling to Acteal for a commemorative Mass for the 45 people of the area who had been massacred at Christmas time in 1997. Of the 45 killed, 15 were children, 21 were women, and 9 were men. They were buried by their bishops on Christmas Day of that same year. The words of the bishops at the funeral ceremony were centred around the phrase that: Today the Child Jesus is put to death in this parish . Another nativity ¦ this time to death!  

I describe an extreme situation “ or perhaps it is not so extreme? We can think of parallels in our own society. Family life is so often destroyed, not by shots from a gun, but by the immorality which at times surrounds us. And at times children are indeed born to die “ when life in the womb is at times extinguished; or the innocence of a child is destroyed by what they see and hear around them, even in the family circle.  

Scenes such as I have described from abroad or those parallels at home, are hopefully far from the usual Christmas scenes and memories of the childhood of most of us.  

Further I am sure that any attempts at re-Christianising our values must also prioritise the value of peace. We have seen the tragic escalation of conflict in Iraq this last year. There will be empty seats at tables in Scotland and in Iraq, the absences where a loved one should have been, other lives lost in conflict. I know that in my own Archdiocese, just across the River Forth from me, in Fife, there will be empty places at tables in the homes of 5 members of the Black Watch, who were recently killed in Iraq. Around the world that scene will be repeated this Christmas when there will be other empty seats at the table, the absences where a loved one should have been, other lives lost in conflict. Survivors too, scarred or disabled for life, remind us of how we should value peace.  

Re-Christianising Scotland or re-Christianising any country is quite simply about Christ being born again “ and being born again in us and in the structures by which we order our society! Looking back to the events of some 2000 years ago, we are right to be disturbed when we recall the events of the first Christmas. Jesus Christ, the Son of God came on earth, born of a virgin in a stable at Bethlehem because there was no room at the inn.  

God will not force us to be good. The babe in the crib has no power other than to invite us into this better world. God knows “ and I say that reverently “ God knows we need it. He is not just above us, he is with us ¦ in that child.  

May God bless each and every one of you. May our celebrations at this Christmas time lead us into an understanding of the deeper meaning of the coming of God as man and help us to change our lives in every way in which they need changing, so that we do indeed become more Christ-like in our every thought, word and deed.  
ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  

Posted by . You can also subscribe to email updates.

Like   Back to Top   Seen 32 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Retired Bishop publishes his fourth book at 91

| 31st July 2017 | Blogging

31 July 2017 Retired Bishop publishes his fourth book at 91. The former Bishop of Galloway, Bishop Maurice Taylor has published a book on the Sunday Gospels, written to provide “information, explanation and reflection” and designed to be used by individuals or groups in scriptural discussion a...

“Mercy Bus” redefines “Mass” transit

| 27th July 2017 | Blogging

“Mercy Bus” redefines “Mass” transit. Thursday 27 July 2017   A Scottish bishop will celebrate Mass on a double-decker bus, for the first time in the UK, in Paisley next week. The special bus will set off on its opening tour from the cenotaph at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Monday 31 July...

Bishops announce appointment of new curator

| 18th July 2017 | Blogging

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has announced the appointment of Dr Alison Burke as Curator of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection at Blairs Museum. Dr Burke was previously Creative Project Co-ordinator with Aberdeen City Council where she started in 2017 to build creative networks in Ed...

Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy sent to Scottish Labour leader

| 28th June 2017 | Blogging

The Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has sent a copy of the Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy to Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, after a controversial Tweet in which she suggested “inclusive education” was not supported in Catholic schools.   In ...