Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Greetings to you all!
I wish you all a joyous Christmas! The birth of Jesus reminds us of all about the continuous fidelity and the love that God shows us through His only begotten son Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16).
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through Kings and the Prophets and at last He spoke to us through this only begotten Son Jesus, who has come to give us life and life in abundance. (Jn 10:10).
Since the pandemic started, I have reflected with you on a number of occasions; how difficult the last two years have been for all of us. At some stage I also started to question everything that happened to me personally and globally too, which resulted from this pandemic. The more I asked, the more pain it brought me. I felt that there was no hope at all. Then it also seized me with a great sense of fear about the future. But the more I started to look at the way God guided me in the past, and how God guiding me in the present, through my family and friends, then I began to see the ray of hope that was coming to me slowly. I am sure some of you would also have gone through a similar experience in your own lives.
The people of Israel were also longing for a Messiah who would deliver them from their enemies and give them hope and future prosperity in their lives. So, the Prophet Isaiah consoles the people with these comforting words saying, “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.” So, the birth of Christ gives us the message of hope, love and assures us the continued presence of God in our lives, “Emmanuel”.
This is something I find so special at Christmas: the birth of Christ was first announced to one group of people, who were not considered to be of any importance in society at that time, but still God chose them. He gave them the privilege to know first this great news, through the angels saying, “Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Yes, He is born for the people who need him most.
The message of his birth is sent not to the palace of Herod or Caesar, but to the poor shepherds shivering in the winter night in the open fields of Bethlehem. Though shepherding was a noble profession early and even King David was a shepherd, by the time Jesus was born, it had become a profession to be filled in from the bottom rungs of society. It was then not considered as a decent profession. It is to those the message of joy and hope go first.
So, dear friends, we are all special people in the eyes of God. He will continue to walk with us as He walked with our ancestors. So have a great faith and hope in Jesus and celebrate this great joy with your families.
My prayer also goes to those families, who are unable to be together, though you all made every possible effort to be united, but due to the COVID-19 virus, it was not possible.
My sincere prayer also goes to those families who have lost loved ones during this year as a result this year’s Christmas may be a difficult one to celebrate. But please know that they enjoy their Christmas with the Lord in heaven and they too will constantly pray for us at this difficult time of our lives.
So, once again I wish you all a happy Christmas and pray that the birth of Christ will bring us a permanent cure for this COVID-19 virus, and thus we all become the children of joy, hope and love for others. Amen!
Readings and Hymns
Please access the readings and hymns for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses here.
Thank you from Fr. Colbert OMI
Fr. Anthony Colbert OMI expresses his sincere thanks to everyone who wished him well and presented him with gifts on his diamond jubilee of ordination anniversary. Please continue to pray for Fr. Colbert’s good health.
Basilica Parish Office Opening Hours during Christmas and New Year
Dear Parishioners, the Basilica Parish office will be closed from Friday 24th December to Tuesday 4th January 2022. You can leave a message via the phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Christmas and New Year Mass times are available on the recorded message on the phone, the website and on our Facebook page St Patrick’s Basilica Fremantle. Thanks for your understanding.
Friday 31st December: New Year’s Eve Mass at 6pm
On Friday 31st December 2021, we will say goodbye to 2021 and will welcome the New Year 2022. It is always a wonderful spiritual experience to say thanks to God for all that we were able to achieve as individuals and Family and to welcome the New Year 2022. The New Year’s Eve Mass will be celebrated at 6pm in our Basilica.
God bless and merry Christmas!
Fr John Sebastian
Rector and Parish Priest