Let us go over to Bethlehem: as we say these words to one another, along with the shepherds, we should not only think of the great "crossing over" to the living God, but also of the actual town of Bethlehem and all those places where the Lord lived, ministered and suffered. Let us pray at this time for the people who live and suffer there today. Let us pray that there may be peace in that land. Let us pray that Israelis and Palestinians may be able to live their lives in the peace of the one God and in freedom. Let us also pray for the countries of the region, for
, Lebanon , Syria and their neighbors: that there may be peace there, that Christians
in those lands where our faith was born may be able to continue living there,
that Christians and Muslims may build up their countries side by side in God's
The shepherds made haste. Holy curiosity and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. God does not feature among the things that require haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say. And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the one truly important thing. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to
, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us. Amen. Bethlehem
Homily, Mass, 2012
Reflection – I’ve got a doozy of a cold right now, which drains one’s creativity like nothing else, I have noticed. At the moment, with all due apologies to the Holy Father, the only thing I’m ‘making haste’ for is my bed, as soon as I can reasonably get there.