Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

VECTIS VIEW: Father Xavier Abbot of Quarr

2 min read

There is, it seems, much Greek around, these days. Only think of the words we all have learnt to live with: ‘pandemic’, ‘delta’, and now ‘omicron’.

This last one is intriguing. As it happens, the Greek alphabet, unlike ours, has two ‘o’s’. The little one is called ‘o micron’; the big one is ‘o mega’, and is also the last letter in the series. If the former has sadly become famous lately, the latter is an old companion of the Christmas season. Jesus says, in the book of Revelation, that He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” To which the medieval carol In Dulci Jubilo echoes joyously: “Alpha es et O-o-o.”

Jesus is the first and the last letter of the alphabet of creation. He is, indeed, the Word in which all is said, all meaning is given. The world was made through Him: “And God said, and it was so.”

At the end of history, when everything will have been done and said, the meaning of all things will be made clear. A single word, a single letter will say the whole, as if all things and all times were contained in the perfect circle of a great O. We shall all say: ‘O’ in adoration and praise. Eternal life will be eternal admiration.

To someone understandably daunted by the naughty ‘omicron’, I would kindly suggest: “Go rather, if you can, for an Omega Christmas.” Where will you find it? In the crib; in littleness. Watch for the great One precisely in this little One in the manger. For the last two millennia, men and women, poor and rich, young and old, saints and sinners have gathered around Him.

To say the truth: this little child is more important that all the great and the good of all times. He is little as a man, but divinely great; weak as a babe, but powerful as God; He is irresistible as true and genuine Love. Divine love is perfectly at ease in our human littleness. Here we learn where our true greatness stands: on the side of love.

At Quarr Abbey, this Christmas, we shall as usual have a big Christmas crib in the church. The scenery is slightly different each year. Always, though, it revolves around the Babe. The little One draws to Himself all characters, and us with them if we wish. For the crib is an invitation to a journey and an encounter. Just join, and be born anew!

If you watch the programme Heaven Made on BBC1 (Sunday, December 19, 11.30am), you will have an idea of the way we are making ready for the great feast day.

It is about cooking some good food, of course, but mainly, the preparation is one of the heart. For Christmas presents us above all with Someone. The great One of the creation comes to us in the little One of the crib. He speaks to us silently.