By Sarah Mac Donald - 25 December, 2014
Speaking to CatholicIreland.net, Archbishop Eamon Martin said the coming of Jesus encourages us in our own families and in our communities to try to be people of love and charity and joy and to bring hope into the bleak midwinter of the bleak news.
The Church leader acknowledged that there’s a sense that things are bleak for a lot of people both within Ireland and across the world.
He referred to the “terrible slaughter in the school in Pakistan”, the news from Australia and violence within Ireland which has left people fearful and feeling unsafe.
He said the Christmas carol ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ had been coming into his prayers in recent days.
“The news can be very bleak particularly at this time of the year when people tend to think of family, home, and the people that are dear to them, children, gift and wanting to give and be charitable.”
But the Primate said the Christmas message gives hope as God became human in the poverty of a stable and in his early years faced the prospect of fleeing as a refugee so to speak.
He paid tribute to other Christian traditions and the increasing number of cross-community events which bring all traditions together.
The message of the Christ child is one of peace and goodwill to all people, he said.