Jag fick de här fina julbetraktelserna från Jesuiterna på Gardiner Street, Dublin.
En välsignad, fridfull, glädjefylld Jul önskar jag er alla!
‘Away in a manger’ --- lovely song, but most of us wouldn’t recognise a manger if we saw one! Most of us know only the wooden manger from the crib. We’ve got it wrong there. A manger in Palestine was a stone structure like a trough, storing food for the animals - they could come to eat straw from it, like cows drinking from a trough. Jesus’ first bed was a food store! If we think of Jesus only as the baby in the manger, we’ve got it wrong again! The manger was an appropriate resting place for him - a place of food, because he is food for the world. The baby needing food becomes the bread of life, the energy of the Divine, the sustenance for the soul on the journey of life. He did that in his life, a man like us and God. He still does the same - feeding the soul with the word of the bible, with the bread of the Eucharist, and with love each time we look towards him and pray. At the back of our crib is a small wooden cross. Greater love than this nobody has than to lay down life for others. The baby of Bethlehem is the man of the Cross and the Christ of Easter.
Donal Neary SJ from ‘The Living Word’ RTE, 2006.
Sunday after Christmas- Holy Family
Jesus grew up like all of us in a family. Coming from the family of heaven to the family of Mary and Joseph and their extended family. We know his grandparents’ names; he had cousins and he didn’t get on with them all; he had an aunt we now of Mary’s sister, the wife of Clopas.
Celebration of his family and of all family life. All of us are children, some are parents, some are grandparents, aunts and uncles. All play an important role in the lives of the family – the younger generation. Where church and state strengthen and support parents and children they are doing something essential.
None of us has the perfect family. Families include people with all sorts of difficulties – alcohol or drugs, crime and prison, people who don’t talk to each other; families who had to leave home and come to Ireland for work, or leave Ireland for work. Joseph and Mary had their family difficulties - their child could have been killed by a mad king Herod, and they couldn’t go home for fear of him; Joseph died leaving Mary a widow, and Jesus was murdered in front of his mother. The holy family know what family life is about, and our faith is a support to family life. In our family we learn most of the important things of life. We salute today families who survive and support each other in difficult times – parents bringing up their children in a one-parent family;
grandparents making sacrifices for another generation; people widowed and living now without their loved ones, adoptive and foster parents.. We thank our parents and families for sacrifices made to bring us up.
Jesus, guide us in life;
Mary, look after us;
Joseph, pray for us
Donal Neary SJ.
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