Taking Down the Tinsel: Finding Christ in Christmastide

Anna Blackman and Fr Stephen Reilly

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As the Christmas holiday draws to a close, and the festivities die down, often it can feel like a disappointment. We return back to ‘normal’, to work, or to school, albeit this year somewhat differently. As our Christmas holiday ends and we enter into the last few months of winter, it can seem quite bleak. There is no holiday to look forward to, no star to follow. However, within the Church’s liturgical calendar Christmas is very much still with us. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we celebrate the hopefulness and promise that is found within the Incarnation. This is the message of hope and light that Christmas celebrates, and it is also the message that is at the heart of the teaching mission of the Church. This is also a message that we live out and witness to in our daily lives as Christians the whole year round.

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Advent Retreat: Watching, Waiting, Hoping

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Last week the St Andrew’s Foundation held its annual Advent Retreat, which this year was led by the wonderful Fr Ed Hone CSsR, Dean of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. Fr Ed invited us to reflect on Advent as a time of ‘Watching, Waiting and Hoping – together in Faith’ in which we await the coming of Our Lord. Though Advent is often seen as a time to prepare for Christmas, Fr Ed reminded us that Advent is also a time to look towards the future; indeed, the very word ‘Advent’ is derived from the Lord’s Prayer in which we proclaim ‘Adveniat regnum tuum’, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. It is a time in which we prepare ourselves for the coming of God’s Kingdom, and trust in the promises that God has made to us that all will be restored to Him.

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