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Thought from Fr. Colm - 7th January 2024

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity, and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Thank you. Sadly, the New Year began with the death of Tom Oliver. Tom hasn’t been well for some time. He was a wonderfully loyal supporter of the parish for many years. Our sympathies and prayers are with Tom’s family.

Tim Gustafson – The Meaning of MyrrhFrom the booklet ‘Our Daily Bread’Today is Epiphany, the day which commemorates the event described by the carol“We Three Kings of Orient Are” where gentle wise men visited the child Jesus. Yet they weren’t kings, they weren’t from the Far East (as Orient formerly meant), and it’s unlikely there were three of them.There were, however, three gifts and the carl considers each. When the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, “They opened their treasures and presented (Jesus) with gifts of gold,frankincense and myrhh” (Matthew 2:11). The gifts symbolise Jesus’ mission. Gold represents His role as King. Frankincense, mixed with the incense burned in the sanctuary speaks of His deity. Myrrh, used to embalm dead bodies, gives us pause. The fourth verse of the carol says, “Myrrh is mine, it’s bitter perfume/breathes a life of gathering gloom;/ sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,/ sealed in the stone cold tomb.” We wouldn’t write such a scene into the story, but God did. Jesus’ death is central to our salvation. Herod even attempted to kill Jesus whilst He was yet a child (v.13).The carol’s last verse weaves the three themes together: “Glorious now behold him arise;/ King and God and sacrifice.” This completes the story of Christmas, inspiring our response: “Alleluia, Alleluia,/ sounds through the earth and skies.”

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