Once In Royal David’s City

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Once in royal Davids city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us, He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
And He cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

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#ShortNews: Parolin: True message of Christmas is peace, goodness for all

Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Erbil, Iraq, on Thursday. The Holy See’s Cardinal Secretary of State is visiting Iraq during the Christmas season, with a journey that began in Baghdad on Christmas Eve.

In his homily, Cardinal Parolin recognized the “great generosity” displayed by the local community in welcoming Christian refugees, especially from Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh. “Hatred and intolerance,” he said, “were countered by solidarity and closeness” on the part of all those who supported suffering Christians and other Iraqis.

“You are a Church of martyrs,” Cardinal Parolin said to the local community. “The blood of your martyrs and the witness of faith given by so many of your brothers and sisters represent a treasure for the Church and a seed of new vitality.”

Read full article here; https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2018-12/cardinal-pietro-parolin-erbil-christmas-homily-chaldean-catholic.html

#ShortNews: Bethlehem hosts largest Christmas celebration in years

Hundreds of locals and foreign visitors milled in Manger Square as bagpipe-playing Palestinian Scouts paraded past a giant Christmas tree. Crowds flooded the Church of the Nativity, venerated as the traditional site of Jesus’s birth, and waited to descend into the ancient grotto. Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maaya said all Bethlehem hotels were fully booked, and the city was preparing to host an “astounding” 10,000 tourists overnight.

Palestinian security personnel and vehicles stationed around the square reminded visitors that amid the merriment, they couldn’t quite escape the city’s political reality. Bethlehem is located in the Palestinian-controlled area of the West Bank, and much of the city lies behind Israel’s separation barrier.

In anticipation of the midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity, the climax of Christmas Eve celebrations, Palestinians and pilgrims huddled in groups, some singing “Silent Night” and carrying candles.

Read full article here; https://www.apnews.com/f2d8c4bc0cd14410890982739d1e2941

#ShortNews: Pope Francis: Christmas Message Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World)

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!”, Pope Francis said to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day. “To you, the faithful of Rome, to you, the pilgrims, and to all who are linked to us from every part of the world, I renew the joyous proclamation of Bethlehem: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those whom he favors’ (Lk 2:14) …”

“A particular thought goes to our brothers and sisters who celebrate the Birth of the Lord in difficult, if not hostile situations, especially where the Christian community is a minority, often vulnerable or not taken into account. May the Lord grant that they, and all minorities, may live in peace and see their rights recognized, especially the right to religious freedom…

May the little Child whom we contemplate today in the manger, in the cold of the night, watch over all the children of the world, and every frail, vulnerable and discarded person. May all of us receive peace and consolation from the birth of the Savior and, in the knowledge that we are loved by the one heavenly Father, realize anew that we are brothers and sisters and come to live as such!”

Read full message of Urbi et Orbi Of His Holiness Pope Francis here; http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/urbi/documents/papa-francesco_20181225_urbi-et-orbi-natale.html

 

Post Advent: Whoever loves his brother remains in the light

It’s four days after Christmas, and the warm feelings we associate with the holidays are beginning to fade. So what now? What difference will Jesus’ coming to live among us make in our lives? How will it help us to love each other and remain “in the light” (1 John 2:8)?

For one thing, because Jesus became one of us, we now know what love looks like in real-life situations. On every page of the Gospels, he has shown us that love is about making concrete decisions to put other people’s interests before our own, He showed this by dining with people no one else wanted to associate with (Luke 19:1-10). Or feeding people who were hungry (John 6:1-15). Or asking someone suffering in silence to articulate what he needs (Luke 18:35-43). Or forgiving someone who has sinned grievously (John 8:1-11).

If this list makes it sound as if Jesus has set the bar too high for you, don’t worry. Jesus knows your strengths and weaknesses, and he is ready to help you. You don’t have to figure out how to love on your own. Jesus’ own love, his creativity, and his compassion can become your love, creativity and compassion. Slowly. Gradually. Over time and through trial and error.Read More »

When A Child Is Born

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A ray of hope flickers in the sky
A tiny star lights up way up high
All across the land dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass, when a child is born

A silent wish sails the seven seas
The winds of change whisper in the trees
And the walls of doubt tumble tossed and torn
This comes to pass when a child is born

A rosy hue settles all around
You start to feel you’re on solid ground
For a spell or two no one seems forlorn
This comes to pass, when a child is born

It’s all a dream, an illusion now
It must come true, sometime soon somehow
All across the land, dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass, when a child is born

A ray of hope flickers in the sky
A tiny star lights up way up high
All across the land dawns a brand new morn
This comes to pass, when a child is born

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