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Ireland: Christmas message by Archbishops Martin and Clarke, for most of His life, “Jesus identified with the homeless”

The Christmas message to the faithful by the two Archbishops of Armagh, Catholic Eamon Martin and Anglican Richard Clarke, is on the theme of home. “Think for a moment of what it would be like this Christmas to be without a home. To be without a place of shelter. To be out in the cold. To be on your own, living on the streets. Sleeping in the shelter of a shop doorway. Not knowing where your next meal is going to come from. Not sure whether or not someone is going to attack you or abuse you for no other reason than the fact you are destitute or ‘look different’”, the message reads. “Sadly that is the reality for many people in Ireland today who are homeless”, the archbishops pointed out. “The endless repetition of statistics about housing and homelessness, particularly at this time of the year, should not dull the reality that behind each of these numbers lies a personal story of distress and hardship”, they remarked. Referring to the Gospel, they emphasised that “Jesus readily identified with the homeless”. Indeed, “for much of His ministry, He was a wandering preacher”, being “born and placed in a manger, not in the heat of a human House”. “When you and I reach out the hand of friendship to those in need, it is the same as reaching out to Him, as much as reaching out for Him”.

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