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Course of human history changed

In Sunday's Gospel reading – Matthew 1:18-25 – Joseph is told by an angel in a dream that the child to be born will be called “Emmanuel” which means “God is with us”. Our saviour didn’t descend to us on a cloud from heaven. Jesus had a human mother, bore human genes and was born into a human family, from a small town in Galilee, while Caesar Augustus ruled the whole world with an iron fist. The good news of Jesus’ birth is that God not only created us but also became one of us. The Christian faith teaches that we don’t get over our estrangement from God by acquiring spiritual knowledge or by philosophical insight. It teaches that only God, through an act of God, can solve the problem of sepa

How St Nick became Santa Claus

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a fourth-century bishop named St Nicholas. He was born around 280 A.D. near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and travelled the countryside helping the poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and caring for the oppressed. One of the best known of Nicholas’ stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’ popularity spread and he becam

It matters how we live our lives on this earth

Fidel Castro, one of the most brutal dictators in modern history has died. Writing in the Washington Post, Carlos Eire, Professor of history and Religious Studies at Yale University wrote, “If this were a just world, 13 facts would be etched on Castro’s tombstone and highlighted in every obituary, as bullet points — a fitting metaphor for someone who used firing squads to murder thousands of his own people.” Here are some of the bullet points he lists: ● Castro was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon ● He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacit

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