In a homily given at the Metropolitan Police Carol Service in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 15 December 2015, Cardinal Nichols thanked the Metropolitan Police for their ‘vigilance’ and ‘courage’.
Comparing them to St Joseph in his role as guardian of the Holy Family, the Cardinal referred to members of the force as ‘guardians, working hard to keep us safe’.
He acknowledged their work as they ‘study the risks confronting us’ and ‘prepare to face them and to help us all respond intelligently, calmly and correctly’.
He added: ‘As I look at St Joseph in every crib I see, I think of you all, and many others alongside you, and I thank God for your presence, your vigilance and your courage.’
‘Sometimes when I hear your sirens piercing the silence of the night,’ he added, ‘I offer a prayer for those involved in that rapid response, preparing to face what may be a tricky situation.’
Pointing to Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, he said ‘he who is God chose to identify with us most closely in our vulnerability and weakness’. In the same way, ‘in that needy person, in that victim, in that distressed and disoriented offender, there is a spark of the divine, just as the child in the cold manger is the fullness of the Godhead’.
The Cardinal reiterated his thanks for their ‘work in this great city’ and extended his prayer that ‘nothing takes from you the gift of peace that this child Jesus can bring to us’.
The full text of the Cardinal's homily can be read here.