St. Jude's Catholic Church, Poolstock Lane, Wigan, Lancashire, England.

In the Pastoral Care of Canon P J MacNally, Father J Kendall  & Deacon R Smith.

If

If you would prefer to listen to the message below, please click here.

An

Advent Season

Welcome

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from the

parishioners

 of the

Catholic Parish of

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St. Jude, Wigan

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An Advent Message From Our Parish Priest . . . .

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For the Christian at Christmas, all attention is directed to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The star that directed the wise men stopped at a humble stable, used for feeding cattle and sheep, and where the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God  came among us in the nakedness, powerlessness of a helpless and dependent infant. By choosing to be born in such a humble setting – out of the spotlight, away from the rich and mighty – God’s son gives us a clear message about the need to see dignity and goodness in every human being, irrespective of class or status. 

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The first people to share the joy of Jesus’ parents in their humble surroundings were ordinary, simple sheep farmers, minding their flocks by night. Their attendance was an assurance that Jesus was there for ordinary people carrying out their daily chores. It also shows us that the Son of God was going to be on the side of the marginalised, the poor, the homeless, the refugee.

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Our celebration of the birth of Jesus is much more than a remembrance of what happened on the first Christmas night  over two thousand years ago. It is a strong and constant reminder to each one of us – rich and poor alike - that God loves us so much that He sent His Son among us to save us, to redeem us. Jesus is our Lord and Saviour!

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This festive season directs our hearts and minds not only on what Jesus did by coming among us as man, but also on what we must do in our day-to-day lives. For example, we need to respect every human being, regardless of colour, status, creed or nationality, and that raises some pertinent questions about our treatment of other people.

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To neglect the needy, the sick, the handicapped, the poor, the refugee in our midst, and to have no thought for the unemployed, the marginalised, the lonely, is to ignore those with whom Jesus has so closely identified. This Christmas and throughout the year we need to examine ourselves regarding the 'door' that we, ourselves, close to Jesus - whether through a broken relationship, or by ignoring people and their needs. There is not much mileage to be gained in being emotional about the people of Bethlehem 'slamming the door' on that first Christmas night, when there is no room in our lives for the needy, the poor, the refugee. The happiness and peace of Christmas comes from within – from our hearts.

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Were Jesus to be born a thousand times o’er, it would be of no avail unless he's born anew in our hearts!”

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A happy, blessed and peaceful Advent to you dear reader, and to your loved ones.

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Canon Pat MacNally (Wigan Pastoral Area Leader)