Christmas is a feast of the heart

Christmas Year B

Some years ago, I was invited to Christmas lunch by a young family – dad, mum and two gorgeous little girls, living in a suburban Department of Housing flat. The menu featured ham and salad, with Christmas pudding and custard for dessert!


After lunch, the girls asked me to sit beside their homemade crib while they told me the Christmas story, filled with imaginative descriptions of all the characters and animals, including koalas, wombats and kangaroos!  Clearly, a nativity story with a very unique Aussie twist! Then came time for the presents, with wrapping paper flying in all directions as it was ripped with great gusto; revealing some wonderful treasures that brought beaming smiles to the faces of two very excited little girls.


The family shared with me their joys: the love and affection they have for each other, their closeness as a family, the importance of faith in their lives, their gratitude for God’s blessings, and the immense pride in how well the girls were doing at school. 


The family also spoke of their struggles: the difficulties to make ends meet, the challenges they face around the block of flats where the live, including, crime, drugs, gang violence and lack of privacy. They also told of their sadness in being unable to find a more suitable place to live, and their concerns about the direction of the world, the uncertainties of life and the children’s future.


For the little family, Christmas was all about opening their hearts, sharing their love and being present to each other; a loving presence which was warm and affirming, in the midst of the joys and struggles of life. For me, the encounter was a wonderful witness to the richness, blessing and reality that is the birth of Jesus.  God has given us everything through the gift of Emmanuel, who lives with us and loves us into fullness of life.


The encounter was also a reminder that God so often works in and through our human experiences and, in particular, our relationships, and how important it is that we nurture and care for our families and the various communities to which we belong.


Christmas is a feast of the heart, revealing to us God’s heart. It also reveals to us the potential and capability of the human heart. This Christmas, may we open our hearts more fully to God and to each other, and in doing so, experience the “great joy” that the angels announced to the shepherds. 


David J Hore CSsR

© Majellan Media 2023

We encourage you to share and use this material on your own website. However, when using materials from Majellan Media, please include the following in your citation: Sourced from


Click to share