At Christmas, in the person of Jesus, God comes to us. We not only recall an event two thousand years ago, which changed the course of human history and linked God and human beings in an embrace of love, every Christmas we know God is near. Jesus was born in a humble stable into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven’s glory was shown to human beings.
Many families this Christmas are facing an uncertain financial future. Some are concerned about care for their children, caring for those who are sick, adequate schooling to prepare them for the modern world.
God’s coming emphasises the dignity of each human being from conception to natural death. God’s coming is an act of love reminding each of us that no matter what may be the challenges we face we are loved and valued.
All of us, old or young, can learn to value the people that surround us, respect their different points of view and learn that greater peace and happiness comes from giving of our time to others rather than indulging ourselves in food, drink and pleasure.
My prayer is that 2013 will be characterised by peace in our society, tolerance and respect for young and old, and an ability to look beyond the immediate moment to the hope which God provides each of us by his coming. Then we know that we are valued and we can make our city, our home, a better place. It is significant that God came to people in material poverty to show the great worth of each human person.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.