In his homily at Midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, likened the countless Christmas lights to the “countless acts of kindness that so characterise our society”.
He said that, despite difficult times and an absence of consensus, society is full of generosity and compassion: “Constantly people respond to need, with quiet dedication and goodness.” The source of this goodness, he said, is the “innate goodness of God flowing through us”.
“In entering our broken world God gives priority to places of despair and poverty,” the Cardinal said, adding: “Only by having this same priority will the mighty of our world find the wisdom we truly need at this time. Only by taking this same perspective will the powerful come to see that their first and ultimate duty is service of the people in their genuine need.”
In welcoming the Christ Child, there is room for all, noted the Cardinal: “In the compelling silence of this night we sense again that [the new-born Son] is entering our souls, drawing us to himself. And that is the deepest truth of the Church whom we dare to call our Mother: not just an institution with all its failings; not just a human community with its comforts and irritations; but a silent and profound bond formed between us and our Saviour, and then between us who rub shoulders as we gather around him. He is our life and no matter the mess we make he will not leave us bereft.”
He is, the Cardinal concluded, “our light in the darkness; our way of wisdom and compassion; our bond of love and forgiveness, all given as a gift wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger!”
Official website for the Diocese of Westminster.