A Christmas message from Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Francis Duffy

Christmas is a time for reflection

Longford Leader

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Bishop Francis Duffy. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

At Christmas we recall the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. A birth that would dramatically change the relationship between God and the human race.

God’s son became human as Jesus from Nazareth and lived and died and was raised from the dead.

At Christmas we remember that Jesus Christ was born into a family; he was a son. He was brought up by Mary and Joseph and by his wider family and local community. Scripture records his connections with family and friends.

At Christmas we retell the moving story of Jesus’ birth at a vulnerable time for his family. At Christmas we think of our own family and we miss those who are not with us.

At this time of the year we are mindful of families that are vulnerable because of poverty, homelessness and exile.

Next August the World Meeting of Families will take place in Ireland.

Dublin was chosen by Pope Francis as the venue to host this important national and international event.

It will be a conversation about the value of family life; all are welcome to prepare and to participate.

We hope that Pope Francis will be there and I hope that you will be able to come, and, to celebrate family.

I wish you and your family and your friends a Christmas that is joyful, peaceful and full of hope, because of the birth of Jesus, God among us.