Today is the Second Sunday of Christmas: The opening lines of the Bible read “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). We hear the echo of those words from the first line of St. John’s Gospel in today’s Mass. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Jewish writer, Philo of Alexandria, had uncovered the principle of creation and gave a Greek name that evokes a thousand resonances: logos. For him, logos, which contained the world of ideas, is the instrument of creation and the principle which held the cosmos together. The name that John gave to logos was “Word”. Calling Jesus the “Word” evokes the many varied meanings of “the word of God” found in the biblical traditions. The word of God conveys energy and power. Word and deed go together. In the creation account, God creates by speaking the word. “God said, “Let their be light and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). This kind of language and thinking was familiar to readers of the Gospel in the first century. However, they would have been surprised by John’s particular telling of the story of Jesus because the male Logos (the Word) is being spoken about in the way the Wisdom Books speak of the female figure, Wisdom-Sophia. We read about her in today’s first reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus (24:1-12). In John’s Gospel we have no story of the birth of Christ, there are no angels and no shepherds, or even wise men! But he tells us “the Word [logos] became flesh and lived among us” (literally pitched a tent among us). (John 1:14). We hear in today’s reading that Wisdom Sophia pitched her tent (Ecclesiasticus 24:8) in Israel but never became flesh as Jesus does. In John’s prologue, which is the name given to this Gospel today; the Incarnation - God becoming flesh - is not a one-off event to be celebrated at Christmas. The interconnections of biblical and ancient cosmologies are reshaped in order to insert Jesus, the Word made flesh, into an evolving understanding of our incarnate, dynamic God and the universe. Creation and Incarnation are interrelated. We gaze at our Christmas crib and we sing Christmas carols such as O Little Babe of Bethlehem and Once in Royal David's City. All of these actions evoke the infancy stories in Matthew and Luke’s gospels. The wonder, lowliness, humanity and vulnerability of the mystery of the new-born Christ child in those gospels inspire cribs, cards, and the liturgies of the midnight and dawn masses. But this particular Gospel, that we hear today expands this horizon. St. Paul quoting from an ancient hymn in the second reading, also calls us to expand our vision of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ he declares “Before the world was made, he chose us in Christ to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6)
Feast Day: On Wednesday 5 January we celebrate the feast day of St. Charles of Mount Argus. He was born two hundred years ago on the 11 December 1821. We are marking the significance of his birth by celebrating a Jubilee which will end this time next year. He died on the 5 January 1893. We will celebrate his feast day Mass here on this Wednesday at 11am with a general blessing with his relic after the Mass.
Feast of the Epiphany is on Thursday 6 January. There is still no obligation for you to attend Church because of the current concerns around Covid 19 pandemic. However you can pray with us via our web-cam found at thegraan.com Masses for the feast of Epiphany are Vigil 7pm. Thursday 10:30am, 12 noon and 7:00 pm.
Thank you for your very generous contribution to the Graan community at our Christmas collections. Your financial support during these fraught financial times is outstanding. Be assured of a constant remembrance in our prayers and Masses.
A word of thanks also to our ushers and Ministers of the Eucharist for their help in our religious services. Our Ministers of the Eucharist will no longer go down to the pews to distribute holy communion and so we are asking all, who are able, to make their way, to the altar to receive communion. Please be aware of the rules around being socially distanced and wearing a mask.
Christmas Crib: Thank you for all your kind contributions. It will be distributed next week to St Vincent de Paul to help their work with those in need. If you would like to give a donation please place it in the box next to our Crib.
Friday Exposition resumes on Friday next 7th January from 10am – 2pm.
Bank Holiday Monday (3rd Jan 2022) Mass & 11am only. The shop will be open until 1pm.
Confessions resumes on Tuesday 4th January. (Tues to Fri 2pm - 5pm. Sat 5pm – 6pm). Tues – Brian. Wed – Charles. Thurs – Arthur. Fri – Anthony. Sat – Anthony. Shop: Open Tuesday to Sat – 9.30 – 7pm. Sunday 9.30pm – 5pm.
LESSONS IN HOPE - Aisling Centre Virtual Day of Inspiration Saturday 8th January with an inspiring programme of speakers and a guest performance by Adrian Dunbar. Event Free (donations optional) – Registration via Eventbrite https://bit.ly/3Bayruk.
May Mc Aloon, Fivepoints, Enniskillen
Declan Keown, The Brook, Enniskillen
Margaret Mc Grinder, New York, formerly Monea
Annie Flynn, Coonian
Thomas Hilley, Aghayarn, Castlederg
John & Annie Mc Hugh & their son Frank, Swanlinbar
Teresa Love, Bellanaleck
Gabriel Moohan, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
Lawrence Clancy, Armagh
James & Mary Maguire, Killesher
Mick & Maureen Mc Brien, Old Rossorry, Enniskillen
Josie Corrigan, Wheathill, Florencecourt