MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! A bit belated – still catching up with myself! . Both parts of this greeting are still good to say, as not only are we at the start of a new year, but we are also still in the season of Christmas. It’s good to remember that Christmas is a season and not just one day. The season of Christmas does not begin until the evening of Christmas Eve. The time before (Advent) is for preparation, but the time we are in now is for celebration! For too many, January is a bit of a downer – people make resolutions, give up eating, punish their bodies as if it is a season of regret and misery! The Season of Christmas transitions at the Epiphany – Christmastide makes way for Epiphanytide – the season that celebrates God being revealed to the world. This is symbolised in the Magi’s arrival, but it is the mission of all Christians – now we have celebrated God’s presence amongst us, we must make his love present to others. This may well involve some thoughtful New Year’s Resolutions! January 1st, is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God and so we ask her to pray for us to her beloved Son for all our needs this year as we pray: Hail Mary…

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