Technically the Christmas season begins on December 8th but in reality it has already begun with decorations everywhere and even Google has a Christmas icon this morning!

And yesterday after mass I had my first taste of Christmas turkey….delicious!!

And of course the risk is to get so busy that we forget what it’s all about, Jesus.

Jesus

My children, how I thirst to come deeper into your hearts and lives.

Just as i grew and grew in the womb of my mother until finally I was born and she could hold me and see me do I desire to grow and grow in your hearts and lives until you too see me in your actions and words and brothers and sisters.

The spiritual life is like a tree that starts from a tiny seed and then grows and grows through the nourishment of prayer and holy living.

I desire to grow in each one of your lives and to fill you with my hope, my peace, my joy, my strength, my wisdom, my love, my understanding and most of all my mercy for those who still do not know me.

My children, how I thirst that you bring me to others through the way you live your lives and the way you pray.

How I thirst to be known, to be received with love and gratitude, to be adored in my eucharistic body and to heal and strengthen your weary hearts.

Be not afraid my children to talk to others about me and about prayer.

Fear not getting things wrong or not being able to answer because this is where I will help you and where you will grow.

Pray especially for my priests, that they may be Holy and authentic witnesses and testimonies of my presence in this world. That their hearts may be on fire for me, their Jesus and that they may preach and teach others about me passionately.

What a wonderful message from Jesus of encouragement to refocus us at this of year on drawing closer to Jesus and on bringing others to Jesus through bott our lives and words.

Jesus is also challenging us a bit to talk about Him and to talk about prayer, something that a lot of catholics aren’t always used to but something that is terribly needed in this modern world.

Now we don’t have to go to the extremes of these Jehovah’s Witnesses and yet our challenge is to be ‘Catholic Witnesses’!

I guess with all the Christmas services coming up we could invite people to come along, explain to them as best we can what happens at the mass, take them for a stroll around the church to see the crib, introduce them to the priest…..

And of course for ourselves we too can grow by putting time aside for prayer, deepening our understanding of what it’s all about and participating more actively and more heartily in the life of the church and the different Christmas activities.

So with all that in mind, Jesus, help us to love you more and to bring others to know and love you more this Christmas!

Michael