Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s Christmas 2008 Midnight Mass homily

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christianity neither condemns nor canonises the market economy; it may be an essential element in the conduct of human affairs. But we have to remember that it is a system governed by people, not some blind force like gravity. Those who operate the market have an obligation to act in ways that promote the common good, not just in ways that promote the interests of certain groups. The market economy will only work justly if it has an underlying moral purpose. But it is unfair to blame only one section of our community for the present crisis, and all is not gloom. Crises always give an opportunity to think again and re-evaluate our own priorities of what makes for a good life and a good society. All of us have an opportunity, each in our own way, to deepen our trust in other people. Because it is people who matter, who comes first. Trust begins in the family but it stretches out to people who live in villages, towns and cities all over our country. One of my hopes this Christmas is that you and I and people everywhere will be able to build communities based on trust, places more like villages than cities, where neighbours have names and faces, where their concerns gradually become our concerns. Basically, my dream is of a society that becomes more deeply human, more satisfying, more hopeful.

The inspiration for my dream is in the Christmas crib scene, the birth of a child in a cave in Bethlehem, bathed in heaven’s light. Most of the cribs I have ever seen focus on the way Mary looks at her son with such extraordinary tenderness and love. It is tempting to leave it there at the level of emotion, but the eyes of faith see her gaze as a sign of God’s love for the world He created, that love that tells us insistently how much we matter to God, how much we should matter to each other.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted December 26, 2008 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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