Busy checking my list and my pound coins

This year I was trying to take a more organised approach to my Christmas shopping.

Naïvely I thought the rush could be tackled in less than one hour. I might even escape with calling into two shops, I think one was Poundland and the other, if my memory serves me right, was probably Poundworld.

I was checking my Christmas list last night to see how many pound coins I wouldneed.

I spotted a great offer, I was going to buy Fr Canny a Manchester United table lamp, and apparently they look great in the middle of the table.

Otherwise I could get Fr Michael a satnav for his bike for those occasions when he gets lost in Donegal.

I was struggling to read my hand writing and next to Fr Colhoun’s name I made out the words head phones.

I was going to get him headphones until I realised I had read the note wrong. It was actually head phones for everyone else who shares the parochial house with him on Chapel Road.

I was going to update Fr Roland’s IPod with music post 1950s until I realised he didn’t have an IPod; he is still listening to cassettes or tapes on his Walkman.

Unfortunately Fr Roland seems to have a limitless supply of batteries and endless Daniel O’Donnell tapes.

As for Fr Joseph I have to confess he’s not easy bought too. He would consider himself the style guru in the house which is understandable considering Fr Joseph shares it with two Donegal men.

Being from India, Fr Joseph is always complaining about the cold in Derry so when I considered all the facts it seems appropriate to get him a onesie for Christmas.

During Advent the character of our preparations reveal much about who we are as a person and what we understand as important as we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth.

John the Baptist looms large in the Christmas story. Even though Kohn is in prison, held captive by chains, he is still able to rejoice knowing that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.

As Jesus begins his ministry in the desert we hear how the bind see again, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

The secret of the kingdom and its presence in our lives, is not losing faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

If we allow Jesus to remain central to our lives then like John the Baptist we will have no reason to fear.

And, no matter what prisons we find ourselves locked in we can still hope in God’s saving presence.

Like John we are asked to prepare a way for the Lord, to be prophets who announce God’s reign through our preparations for this feast of Christmas .