By Sarah Mac Donald - 21 December, 2014
In their joint message for Christmas, the Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops of Clogher have expressed solidarity with families whose loved ones have been forced to go overseas for work.
Remarking that Christmas is Christmas wherever you go, the two bishops say there is a special intensity about Christmas in those families whose sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and even husbands or wives come home from working or living overseas.
“Skype and FaceTime are wonderful blessings but nothing compares to meeting those we love in the flesh,” the write and add that the hugs and kisses “will be mighty”.
Acknowledging that Christmas is a time of very hard work for most of us, they add, “but we wouldn’t miss it for the world”.
“For some reason which we can never quite explain Christmas brings hope. In theory Easter as the Feast of the Resurrection should do so even more, yet Christmas remains the great season of hopes and dreams.”
“It is the time when we look towards the end of an old year looming not far ahead and hope that the New Year just out of sight around the corner will be brighter and warmer and better than the one just past.”
For people who they find themselves in difficulties, remembered words or dear familiar things might help, they suggest but underline not as much as a friend in the flesh.
“When we are surrounded by our family and friends at a Service of Lessons and Carols or at the First Eucharist of Christmas, or even sitting at the dinner table in a silly paper hat, we feel in those lovely words of the old saint, ‘that all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well’.”
They conclude by stating that Christmas is the embodiment of hope and Christmas is the embodiment of God.