Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Welcome to Christmas at S. Michael and All Angels. This morning we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The weeks of Advent have prepared us to welcome the Christ Child, indeed our Saviour, on this holy day.
As you prepare for this Mass spend some time taking in the surroundings of this beautiful house of God. One thing to notice is the Advent Wreath at the front. It has four candles alight. These candles have been lit over the past four Sundays as we have waited and prayed for the coming of Christ. The candles represent the hope, the peace, the joy and the love that we yearn for in the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. In this Mass of Christmas Day we will light the Christ candle in the centre of the wreath to proclaim that all these expectations have been fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
Notice also the nativity scene on the south side of the church, which has been built up through the weeks of Advent. As we began the Midnight Mass last night we had the whole supporting cast there, but the manger was empty. As part of the procession we placed the baby Jesus in the manger. Think about your own life and the busyness of these past weeks, as you have prepared for Christmas. Today in this Mass we invite you to welcome Jesus into the manger of your heart.
As you go out from here today, take with you the joy of the Bethlehem shepherds, the awe of the worshipping Wise Men, and the humility and love of the holy family.
May you and your families and friends have a blessed and holy Christmas.
Fr Andrew Starky