Christmas Message from The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we gather once again to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I extend my warmest wishes to you and your loved ones. The festive season is upon us, and though the challenges of our times may persist, the timeless message of Christmas continues to shine brightly, offering us hope, love, and peace.
It is a busy time for everyone, with last-minute preparations, food and gifts on the agenda, and from an archdiocese point of view, there has been plenty to celebrate this year.
In July, we celebrated 100 years since our first pilgrimage to Lourdes. We travelled out there in great numbers, and it was truly an occasion to remember. With that, we also celebrated 100 years since the miracle of Jack Traynor and remembered his story.
In September, it was a historic moment, not just for the archdiocese, but for the Catholic Church in this country, as St Mary of the Isle in the Isle of Man became our co-cathedral – the first of its kind in the UK.
It was a momentous occasion, with the ceremony being watched not just by those in attendance, but by many more across the world online.
Despite this, I am also aware that it has not been an easy year for everyone. The cloud of the cost-of-living crisis still lingers, and we have seen the devastating impacts of climate change, and conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.
In a world that often grapples with uncertainty, economic challenges, and social issues, it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Just as Mary and Joseph faced an uncertain journey to Bethlehem, finding themselves in humble surroundings, so too do we encounter the unexpected in our lives. Yet, amidst the difficulties, we find the enduring message of God’s love.
It’s a reminder that even though we remember them with much fondness – they also had to go through their tough times. From having to travel a fair distance on a donkey, to there being no room at the Inn. But at the end of it, they got to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
In the midst of the world’s darkness, we find hope in the light that the birth of Jesus brings. Like the shepherds on that holy night, let us not be afraid, for the message of Christmas is a message of hope—a hope that transcends time and circumstances. I pray that this Christmas fills your hearts with the warmth of love, the joy of hope, and the peace that surpasses all understanding. May the light of Christ shine brightly in your lives, bringing comfort and assurance in the days ahead.
Wishing you and your families a blessed and Merry Christmas.
In Christ’s love,
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP