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The wonder of Christmas is a wonder that is echoed in so many different ways: in the carols we might sing at home, because we can’t sing them in church; in the decorations we might put up in our homes; to catch the joy that spreads through the world from the birth of Jesus Christ.

It is his coming into the world as the Word of God in our flesh that suddenly opens new horizons for us. It opens a horizon of what it means to be truly human, made in God’s image and likeness. In the birth of Jesus, in his life, in his dying and in his rising again, there before us are the real deep truths of what it is to be a son and a daughter of God.

And what’s asked of us? A bit of humility. In Bethlehem, the door into the Church of the Nativity is remarkably small and low. Tall people have to stoop to enter. I heard once that it was built like that to stop anyone entering the church riding a horse. We have to come down off every high horse that we possess, whether it’s our opinions, our grudges or our pride, in order to meet the infant King. Only the humble of heart are ready to greet him, who alone can carry our burdens and share with us the fullness of life.

This coming into the world of our Saviour is this crucial moment from which flow the joy, the peace, the compassion, the forgiveness that we try to embody. Let us try to make Christmas a family festival of the birth of Jesus, a time when faith finds fresh expression in our homes

I wish you all a very happy Christmas, even in the limiting circumstances in which we’re living. They don’t inhibit the joy of our hearts and the joy we share with one another.

May God bless you this Christmas at home and in your parish, and may God give you the fullness of joy in the birth of our Saviour.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster