This week-end we begin the season of Advent. We are preparing for Christmas 2018. If you have ever read Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”, you would know what old Scrooge said about this pre-Christmas season.

He said: “What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older and not an hour richer…. If I had my will, every idiot who goes around with ’Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart – He should!”

Yet, in the same story, “A Christmas Carol”, Charles Dickens describes the behaviour of another person. His name was “Tiny Tim”. How did Tiny Tim behave at Christmas time? Dickens said: “He behaved as good as gold. And Better! Somehow, he gets thoughtful… He told me that he hoped that people saw him in church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant for them to remember, upon Christmas day, who it was who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.”

There’s a bit of Scrooge and a bit of Tiny Tim in many people. Let us ask God to help us to see the very best in Christmas 2018, no matter what difficulties we might be facing.

Remember the very best in Christmas is no one else than Jesus Christ!

Rev Mgr John Usher