Bishop’s Newsletter December 2014

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Nativity Play

Angel Express – Nativity Play at St John’s RC Academy, Perth

The Season of Advent has been for us each year a Season of waiting, attention; A Season of anticipation, a Season of longing and a Season of desire.  Waiting, anticipation, longing and desire for the Lord to come to us!  During Advent we have remembered the promise that the Lord will come at the end of time, his Second Coming, to consummate his Kingdom. We are about to celebrate the First Coming of the Christ-Child at Christmas. But we also remember the Third Coming to us of the Lord in His Word, in the Sacraments – especially the Mass – and in our prayer and our loving encounters with one another. Our Lord, remember, promised to be with us until the end of time.

But in this Festive Season we also wish each other a Holy Christmas because Christ wants to be born, not only in the Manger, but also in our hearts, this Christmas. And our hearts need to be ready for him to be born there.  Our hearts need to become manger-like to receive the infant Christ. Hence Advent is the season of preparation and waiting!  So the best service we could render the Lord at this time would be to prepare well in these last days of Advent. Then, when the Solemnity of Christmas dawns our hearts won’t have been crowded out with our usual anxieties about gifts, and food preparations, and hospitality and parties. Rather the manger, which is our heart fittingly prepared, will be ready. We will have the time and space to welcome the Christ Child to be born again in our hearts.

May you all have a truly wonderful time this Christmas! Literally, may you have a time of wonder and awe; a time of longing and openness to welcome Jesus into your hearts.

And when the New Year comes?  Likewise, prepare to confront the New Year with courage and boldness and confidence!  Let us boldly and yet gently wear our Catholic Faith proudly and show by our actions that we really are apostles of the Infant Lord anointed to bring his presence, justice and peace to our world. A world that needs him so much.

A very happy and holy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

With love to you all, especially the sick, housebound, hospitalised and the children

Stephen Robson

+ Bishop of Dunkeld