A Christmas message from Father James, Macleay Valley Parish Priest.
Father James is a regular visitor to Vincent Court and takes our Catholic services in our on-site Chapel.
Many of us would be familiar with the classic Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, written in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle. Of all the lyrics, my favourite line is, “And hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near.”
This year, these words take on new meaning as we consider the many people who have been physically separated from family due to the COVID19 pandemic. But we also give thanks for how we have been able to stay connected to loved ones through other forms of communication, like phone calls, Facetime and Zoom.
For the residents, families and staff, this is a time to celebrate being part of the larger family of Vincent Court Aged Care Community. You have a beautiful home where you are truly loved. Christmas at Vincent Court is always filled with joyous festivities, made extra special by the love and care people have for each other.
This is a love which is modelled on the love of the Christ Child whose birth we celebrate. In Jesus, Mary and Joseph we see a family who love and care for each of us, who experienced the ups and downs of life like we do, and model the importance of care, sensitivity and support for each other.
Last year for his birthday on 17 December, Pope Francis was shown a unique Nativity scene called “Let Mum rest” (see an image of the statue and a painting of the same theme).
The pope said the image depicts:
“The tenderness of a family… We can also invite the Holy Family to our home, where there are joys and concerns, where every day we wake up, eat, and sleep close to our loved ones. The manger is a domestic Gospel. In fact, the crib ‘is like a living Gospel’. It brings the Gospel to the places where one lives: to homes, schools, workplaces and meeting places, hospitals and nursing homes, prisons and squares. And there, where we live, it reminds us of something essential: that God did not remain invisible in heaven, but came to Earth, He became man, a child…God has always been close to His people, but when He was incarnated and born, He was very close, very close…God is not a distant lord or a detached judge, but rather He is humble Love, Who has come down to us. The Child in the manger transmits His tenderness to us…Some statues depict the Child with open arms, to tell us that God came to embrace our humanity…So it is good to be in front of the crib and there to confide our lives to the Lord, to talk to Him about the people and situations we care about, to take stock of the year that is coming to an end with Him, to share our expectations and concerns.”
As I conclude this little Christmas reflection, I would like to especially thank Kate Seckold for all her amazing service to Vincent Court over so many years. We will all truly miss her. Kate is a blessing to our community and has brought so much joy to so many people over the decades. We wish Kate every grace and blessing in her retirement.
This Christmas may you experience anew the love and tenderness of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. May it be a blessed and joyous time, the most wonderful time of the year!