+ Bishop Colm O'Reilly - Christmas 2007

One very simple piece of good advice that I heard or read in recent weeks was addressed to women but could apply to men too, at least to those who are brave enough to cook! 'Do not expect the Christmas dinner to turn out perfectly'. In the places where I have eaten my dinner on Christmas Day there have been, more often that not, things that were overcooked or overlooked. Thankfully the cooks have not been in tears, unless when these were brought on by laughter. Perfectionists should probably stay out of the kitchen on Christmas Day, I think!

How, I wonder, did we ever get ourselves into thinking that Christmas has to be a time when we are not allowed to get things wrong? How did we let ourselves be led to believe that this time would be a pain-free zone? We certainly did not pick that up from the Nativity Play we did at school or from the Gospels that told us the story of the First Christmas every year at this time. The less we listen to the original version of Christ's coming the more we will be disappointed that our expectations are not met.

I had the privilege of having the Christmas dinner in recent years with a family where there is a little Downs Syndrome boy. His sheer delight in simple things was wonderful to see. That kind of joy is infectious. The disability that we associate with such people is also an ability to change the mood of others. To such as these the Kingdom of God belongs.

May Christmas be joyful but more than passing joy in your life. Take time to visit the Crib and see the Child who came to us in the weakness of infancy and find new hope.

The face of the Kingdom is today uncovered:
A child teaches us of the eternal infancy of God,
And God, at our door waits to be welcomed


As a child.


+ Bishop Colm O'Reilly

Archived References  
Bishop Colm's Christmas Message 2010
Statement by Bishop Colm O'Reilly on the Dublin Report
Bishop Colm O'Reilly video interview for Mission Sunday 2009
Message on Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock 2009
Homily by Bishop Colm for Trinity Sunday, on 150 years of SVP in Longford.
Bishop Colm's Pastoral Letter Easter 2009
Bishop Colm's Christmas Message 2008
Bishop's Letter to the Diocese, Easter 2008, 'on the way forward'.
Bishop's Message for the Year of Vocation
Bishop's Homily at Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock, Sept 2007
Message from Bishop Colm on Ferns Report
Message from Bishop Colm on the death of Pope John Paul II
Homily by Bishop Colm at Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Mel's Cathedral, 7th April
Statement from the Bishop, 27th May 2006
Homily at Clonmacnois Pattern Day, 2006
Bishop's Christmas Message 2005
Message from Bishop Colm for Vocations Sunday 2005