love in action

In the weeks before Christmas even shopping malls sound like more like holy shrines as sacred carols play continually.

The best known of these Christmas carols, Silent Night, was first sung two hundred years ago for Christmas 1818: “Christ the saviour is born… with the dawn of redeeming grace…Jesus Lord at thy birth”

Thats a great line: “the dawn of redeeming grace” and redeeming grace is what we celebrate today: God’s love in action towards us, that is, people who don’t deserve such overwhelming love.

Thanks be to God for redeeming grace.

The beauty of this redeeming grace is that God doesn’t force this on anyone. We are free to accept or reject this life of grace.

Bishop Paul Martin spoke about the beauty of accepting this life of grace in his homily last night at Midnight Mass:

“A few years ago I visited the place of Jesus’ birth. There is a church built on the site now, and it is interesting that the doorway is only one and a half metres high. It is not possible for an adult to enter the place of Jesus birth without bending low. That is significant. In one of his Christmas Midnight Mass homilies Pope Benedict commented on this this suggesting that:

“if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason. We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognising God’s closeness. 

“We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions – the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby.

“In this spirit let us celebrate the liturgy of the holy night, let us strip away our fixation on what is material, on what can be measured and grasped.

“Let us allow ourselves to be made simple by the God who reveals himself to the simple of heart.

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A Grace for Christmas Dinner:

29 Responses to "love in action"
  1. Thank you again for the wise words, which bring me comfort as I wake to face the day with my much loved family. None of them share the faith which means so much to me and I feel profoundly alone in this early morning as I wait for the secular festivities to begin. Please pray for me. I feel so sorry for myself but I know I have so much to be grateful for. Christmas blessings to you.

    • Let us pray for Belinda.
      Heavenly Father, we ask that Your redeeming grace will fill the hearts of Belinda and her family today with a renewed spirit of the Christmas message, and a joyful journey home to you. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

  2. So early each morning, these readings have blessed me profoundly. Our God, so gentle, has surrounded me with His love. God’s blessings Father.

  3. Let us pray for Belinda and her family.
    Heavenly Father, we ask that you will fill the hearts of Belinda’s family with your spirit of redeeming grace so they can journey home to you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

  4. Thank you Father for your daily inspiration! It helped keep me focused. All the blessings of this special feast. Now you can put your feet up for a bit!

  5. Happy Christmas Father John thank you again for your wisdom and guidance which has enriched my Advent journey to this wonderful day.

  6. It has been lovely to sit in the morning reading your lovely thoughts for the day giving lots of peace. My wishes for a very peaceful day to you, happy Christmas.

  7. Thank you for guiding us on this journey to Christmas and for helping us stay open to our God of surprises who confounds and surpasses all of our expectations. Christmas blessings to you and all of the FFF community it has been a privilege walking with you.

  8. Thank you for your lovely thoughts each day, it has been so wonderful peaceful sitting reading them. Wishing you a very peaceful day happy Christmas.

  9. Thank you Fr John, for taking us on this journey through Advent. May the little Christ Child reward you as only He can. I wish you many Christmas blessings.
    I feel for you too, Belinda and pray for you too. I face pretty much the same situation in our family. I just keep loving them and praying for them and keep reminding myself that God hasn’t finished with them yet.
    Happy and Holy Christmas time to you all.

  10. Happy Christmas Father John. Thank you for the inspiration you offered us each day during our journey through advent. It certainly kept me focused on the important meaning of Christmas.

  11. Yes, Belinda and Barbara and others whose families don’t share the faith, my family also. I love the idea that God has not finished with them yet. I pray for them and love them. Today a child born in a manger has given me great hope. Thank you Fr John for your reflections.

  12. Thank you John for saying Mass for us at St. Mary’s at 8am. Those thoughtful words of the Bishop and Benedict really set the scene for me this joyful season.
    God bless you doing his holy work.

  13. Have a very happy and blessed Christmas to everyone, especially to those fellow travellers, who has been following Father John’s reflections this Advent. Father John, thank you so much for these thought provoking reflections to help us all share this journey.

  14. Thank you Father John for the beautiful spiritual journey you took us on through Advent. May you, your team and to all followers of your messages be richly blessed this Christmas season.

  15. Thanks for a great 4 weeks Fr John. Prayers to the McTague family at this time too. Jason McTague is the technical grunt behind FFF and has been juggling a challenging time with his young family lately. God’s blessings on you and your family JM.

  16. John: thanks for the guided reflections, they offered thoughtful insights to help us in the advent pilgrimage. We have just finished our day and while Jesus isn’t the focus for our younger generation it was lovely to see the strength of family and the continuation of strong traditions and simpler enjoyments. We can create the space and trust to God to fill the gaps in between

  17. Thank you, Father John, for shining the light in our lives again this Advent. Your inspiring and uplifting creative and informative presentations regarding faith, hope and love mirrored for me the in depth essence of life and light. May this Spirit of Christmas and the new year fill your life with infinite gifts of hope and happiness. Virginia.

  18. Thankyou FR JOHN,
    Yout reflection and grace prayer caused “the holy spirit”to help me send a message to someone whom is in
    Desperate need, “GOD BLESSES YOUR WORKS”
    THANKYOU

  19. Father JohnI have not seen you for ages but felt so close to you as I journeyed with you and so many during Advent. Thank you for the insights and the practical points at the end of each reading. It seems I will miss you when you are in my homeland.

  20. In appreciation for your guidance through this Advent journey, Father John.
    Your thoughts and wisdom have challenged and been a source of growth.
    Many Christmas blessings on you, your work and the people you reach .

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