The Holy Family, a model of love.
A new year means turning over a new leaf.
When I was younger I remember thinking that we had to go our and find a leaf to turn over. I was irritated because I couldn’t write on the leaf and physically turn it over. So I made my own leaf and wrote on it all the things I was going to do that year.
I was going to be better behaved. I was going to stop ‘answering back’. I was going to be a better son.
In many ways my behaviour in those years was born out of the fact my family was broken through divorce. I lived out the reality of hurt and pain that for years coloured my understanding of what a family was supposed to be.
When people talked abut the perfect family I would laugh at them, “there’s no such thing”. Even though I went to chapel every week nobody ever told me we had the perfect model of family before us all the time – The Holy Family.
A model of motherly love, of fatherly sacrifice, of a family who held together in the darkness and for whom God (quite literally!) was a the centre of all things.
Our families are all different. They are broken in many ways, they are big and small, over the top, quiet, difficult, fun. Loud, noisy, difficult, quiet. The Holy Family experienced all of these things and endured them.
Sometimes that is what we must do as well. Endure. Be obedient and open to what God is calling us to do in our families and make sure above all things God is right in the heart of them.
It doesn’t matter that we don’t always get it right, what matters is that God is there in the middle of it all.
Then, when things do go wrong, there’s a chance that something beautiful may come out of it.
Services for the next two weeks and for Christmas Day are listed on the pew sheet and on the website. Do try to come to the carols and crib service at 3pm on Christmas Eve. It’s a lovely service that will warm your heart ahead of the big day.
Midnight mass will be as usual at 11:30pm on Christmas Eve – a powerful service to welcome and celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ!
All of us at St. Anselm wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and blessed New Year.
There will be a special announcement at Mass on the 7th January.
Please support the church generously this Advent through your giving. www.stanselm.co.uk/giving