A Christmas Message from Bishop Donal McKeown

A Christmas Message from Bishop Donal McKeown

Christmas can be both a beautiful and a stressful time. For lots of people it is a time of great memories. But many others in our communities are subject to pressures that are often not of their own making.

The first Christmas had its joys and pains. There was joy at the safe birth of a child, a new crying, and beautiful human life. But the child was not planned, his mother had been told that a sword would pierce her heart because of her son, Herod would try to get rid of him – and he was celebrated by no-one except smelly shepherds and strange foreigners.

This Christmas many individuals and families face huge pressures. As ever, it is the weakest who suffer most from economic crises and from political stagnation. It is a sad society when the most vulnerable – be they born or unborn, young or old, living here or in war torn countries – can be sacrificed as collateral damage in the service of the strong. That sort of world order will never bring peace on earth and goodwill to all.

I wish everyone a happy 12 days of Christmas – where the inconvenient baby in Bethlehem can be Emmanuel, God with us, in all our joys and the stresses. That will be a good preparation for 2018 and whatever it brings.

+Donal McKeown

Bishop of Derry

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