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Thoughts of Fr. John – December 2018

If the holy Scriptures were not given to us so that we should enclose them in books but rather engrave them upon our heart as St John Chrysostom reminds us then it follows that only are a life lived for others is a life that is worthwhile living.

In keeping with the theme of Christmas: from “The Incarnation of the Word of God “by Saint Athanasius, written circa 318 CE, and in describing the mystery and miracle of Christ taking flesh from the virgin, he wrote: – “in creation He is present everywhere; ordering, directing, giving life to all, containing all, yet is He himself the uncontained existing solely in his father. As with the whole, so also is it with the part. Existing in a human body, to which He himself gives life, He is still source of life to all the universe, present in every part of it, yet outside the whole; and He is revealed both through the works of His body and through His activity in the world.” ( Chapter 3: part 17)… Now the reference 3:17 may be coincidental but perhaps you should look it up in the gospel of John..

From the letter of Paul to the Romans (11:17 – 18) “but if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that is not you that support the root but the root supports you”.

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them “do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8 – 10).

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!”

The beginning of the New Year is filled with resolutions. I now give you mine: the New Year fills us all with optimism and enthusiasm which is no more than the art of the possible. The tasks that we set ourselves are all within reach. It is as if we are looking up at the bright night sky and feel that we are capable of plucking the stars that we see to make a diadem of light. Let’s pray to God that the gift of optimism and enthusiasm remain with us throughout the year. May we remain as little children gambolling and marvelling at the mystery and awesomeness of life.