Comment Opinion & Features

Cardinal Nichols: God gives priority to places of despair

What wonder! The God of all power and might enters our world not in a palace or as an enforcer but by the route of human weakness.

This is the wonder of the birth of Christ, the invitation he offers to us all. God’s use of power is so different from ours.

In entering our broken world, God gives priority to places of despair and poverty. This is so radically important.  This is a pathway to the fulfilment and to the beatitude that is God’s intention for us. Only by having this same priority will the mighty of our world find the wisdom we truly need at this time, as we seek a fresh start. Only by taking this same perspective will the powerful come to see that their first and ultimate duty is service of the people in their genuine need. This is at the heart of Christmas.

Two groups were the first to welcome the birth of the one who is our Saviour, the one who lifts us out of darkness. First were the angels, displaying star quality in declaring the wonder of this moment. Then came the shepherds, who were the out-and-out rogues of their day. There is room for both of these groups in the welcome of this child just as there is room for every one of us.

We are drawn by him, the newborn Son who is named Emmanuel, God with us. In the compelling silence of this night we can sense again that he is entering our souls, drawing us to himself. He is our life. No matter the mess we make he will not leave us bereft.

Our light in the darkness; our way of wisdom and compassion; our bond of love and forgiveness, all gift wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Come let us adore him!

May the peace of the Christ Child be our guiding light this Christmas.

May I also take this opportunity to thank you for all that you do and wish you a very happy Christmas when it comes.