A Christmas message from Congregational Leader Sr Monica Cavanagh.

And the light shines out in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome.John 1:5

These reassuring words from the Gospel of John ring out words of hope for a world preparing to celebrate Christmas in a different context. For many the possibility of gathering with family and friends will be difficult. Others, like Mary and Joseph, will be anxious, finding no room in the inn or a bed in a hospital as they struggle with COVID-19. Many like the shepherds will be afraid of what the future holds for them because COVID has left them without the financial and emotional support they need to live life to the full. Through the virtue of hope, we know that the light will shine in the darkness through the generous gift of love extended to our vulnerable brothers and sisters.

The deepest desire for our world as we come to celebrate the feast of Christmas in this COVID-19 year is that peace, hope and joy will find a place in each one’s life. For Christians believe that “in the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness … and guide our feet in the way of peace”.  (Luke 1:78-79) The Christmas event calls us to believe in the potential goodness of every human being.  It impels us to be the Christ-Light in our world through our acts of compassion, courage and advocacy.

May this Christmas gift you abundantly with joy and companionship, just as Mary and Joseph were gifted with the visit of the shepherds and the Magi. Let us be encouraged by the words of Mary MacKillop:

Though many of us will be far apart, we can be united in spirit and pray for each other at the Crib and at the Altar.Mary MacKillop 7.12.1899

In this tenth year since the canonisation of Saint Mary MacKillop, the Congregational Leadership Team offers you these words of encouragement at Christmas:

Take fresh courage
As Mary and Joseph did stepping into the unknown
As the shepherds did when the angels appeared
As the Magi did in following the star.
As Saint Mary MacKillop did when faced with adversity.
May you be blessed with this same courage and know the peace and joy Christ brings this Christmas and always.

Sr Monica Cavanagh
Congregational Leader