By Sarah Mac Donald - 19 December, 2013
In his Christmas Message, the Bishop of Down and Connor said each Christmas had a different tone. Some are celebrated in joy and success, when life is upbeat.
However, others are clouded by sadness, suffering, serious illness, debt and financial stress, dejection, or a profound sense of isolation.
“Unemployment, job insecurity, emigration for work that weighs on family life: all this and more, including the recent violent threats to public safety and security on our streets, makes life hard for many of us.”
Bishop Treanor continued, “Joy seems far away, a thing of the past that’s gone forever.”
But Christmas is the dawn of new hope the Bishop reminded the faithful. He said each generation is invited to make that hope its own and to enact its dynamic in worship, prayer and Christian action.
“Let us pray in these days that the current efforts led by Dr Richard Haass will lead to fresh and new steps that will energise our political realm,” he said in his statement issued on Wednesday.
The Bishop concluded by praying that whatever people’s state of mind, heart or soul in December 2013, “may this Christmas help us to be at one with God, with ourselves, and with our neighbour.”
“May it empower us in God’s grace to cross barriers to new life and hope in the Risen Saviour, born of Mary and parented by her and Joseph, a carpenter,” he said.