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Christmas Homily - Fr Paul Rowse, OP

Mercifully, things are winding down for the year.  Pretty soon we won’t be able to tell what day of the week it is.  Christmas is the first of our summer celebrations.  Soon it will be new year’s day and then Australia Day, which reminds us that the kids are soon going back to school.  I hope and pray that your holidays are peaceful and relaxing; and if they’re not, there’s a special place for you here at St Dominic’s: we love peace-seekers and peace-makers in equal measure.  So much can end up on our plate; it can be too much.

Are we left, then, to our own devices?  We know we’re not, but it can seem as though God has said to us: “Here’s this beautiful world for you to live in and some personal talents and gifts – now go make the best of it.”  We don’t always get it right, but are we likely to fail? and if likely to fail, then destined to fail?  God’s plan is perfect and his creation is imperfect; it does seem that there’s a terrible mismatch there.  We were created good but have acquired a redeemable flaw.

The Holy Child comes to show us how it’s done.  He is born into poverty to show us how much we really need.  He grows up in obscurity to teach us about good character.  He lives, works, and ministers among his own people to show that there’s goodness in us.  He dies our death and rises to his life to make a way for us in grace from earth to heaven.

So, we shall watch the Holy Child closely.  We know he is beloved of the Father; prophets foretold him; angels attend him; shepherds bring their flocks to him; the Holy Spirit is upon him.  Everything we’re told about him, even before he was born, tells us he is the goal and exemplar of our life.  Christ is all for others; he is for all of us.

The way for us is clear: we must give up our old selves.  Christ has come to claim us for heaven, where only those who live in light can dwell.  Our old ways aren’t heaven’s ways, but only new ways.  So let’s be renewed by his presence on earth: let our every thought, word, and action aim speak of where we’re headed, that is, where he is from.  Christ is here to enable us to fulfil our destiny of all-goodness and all-light.

The good news is that we can make it both here and to the place from which our Christ has come.  We must all be changed.

Christ is born for us.  God is with us.  We are not alone; we’re not left to fumble about in the dark of the earth.  We shall not fail to be human if we come to resemble him who is the best of us.  If we imitate him and are fed by him, heaven will be no surprise to us but rather all-delight.

Fr Paul Rowse, OP

Parish Priest

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