With Mary on Christmas Eve

WelCom December 2019 James B Lyons Mary, blessed among womenChosen way for God’s coming into our worldMay we keep you company this Christmas eve?In a time not easy for you….

WelCom December 2019

James B Lyons

Mary, blessed among women
Chosen way for God’s coming into our world
May we keep you company this Christmas eve?
In a time not easy for you.

Yes, Joseph is at your side
His love for his wife-to-be-mother
Strong and protective.
But he wasn’t always so sure.
Neither were you.

When the angel left you
The light dimmed for a time
You were alone in the gloom of not knowing
Treasuring and pondering
But not knowing.

There was hurt in Joseph’s eyes
When you broke the news
Small town talk sent you to Elizabeth.
Does a ‘Yes’ to God have to be so heavy?
Why can’t the way ahead be clear?

Mary, blessed among women
Doorway of God’s coming
You understand our pain, our loneliness
Even if we don’t
And you grieve at our quickness to judge.

Even now, as Bethlehem nears, there is darkness.
Your child to be born among strangers
Away from the touch and feel of family…
Why such suffering
In this journey of God’s making?

Help me to see in your company
The beauty of God’s love
Washed with stars seen only in darkness
In lives that sparkle in the midst of sorrow
In light that melts Calvary’s shadow.

Fr James Lyons is a priest of the Archdiocese of Wellington.

The night before Christmas

Te Pō i mua i te Rā Kirihimete

Now it happened that at this time, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph had to travel from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Bethlehem, as this was town that his family (the royal house and family of David) originally came from. [It was a journey of about 70 miles – 112 kilometres.] Most houses would have been shared with the animals that the family kept]. Joseph went there to register together with Mary, who was betrothed to him and was expecting a child. Now it happened that while they were there, the time came for Mary to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space. – Luke 2:1-7

Caesar Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who became the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.