Archbishop Bernard’s Christmas Message

Welcome the stranger at Christmas and pray for those who are far from home Archbishop of Birmingham’s Christmas Message

In his Christmas homily, the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley highlights how the coming of Christ at Christmas calls us all to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to others in need.

“God’s coming into the world inspires us as Christians to reach out ourselves so that the mission of Jesus Christ becomes our mission too.  We can all be people and communities who reach out to others in need.”

Whether that be the needs of refugees and economic migrants who “are often anxious and fearful about the future and feel they have no one to turn to.”

Or those whose ‘lives have gone astray through the influence of drugs or criminal behaviour.”  The Archbishop asks us to “pray for and support those who have been the victims of crime as well as for those who are separated from their families because they are now in prison.” 

During this season, he says we also pray very especially for “the Arab Christian communities of the Holy Land and the Middle East.  In so many countries where Arab Christians have lived for centuries alongside their Muslim neighbours in peace their very existence is now threatened.  Churches in Iraq and Syria, in Egypt and in the Holy Land itself feel that there is now no room for them.  Yet they have a vital contribution to make to the long-term peace and stability of their countries.” 

And remember “the members of our armed forces and armed forces personnel whose duty keeps them in Afghanistan or other troubled areas, far from their loved ones at home and feeling the distance particularly at Christmas.”

Midnight Mass was broadcasted live from St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham on BBC Radio 4.  The Mass begab at 23:30.

To read Archbishop Bernard’s homily click here: Midnight Mass Christmas 2013

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