Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Message from George Cardinal Pell

By + Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
23 December 2006

Most Australians approve of the feast of Christmas and not just because it is a good holiday break. Christmas celebrates birth and motherhood, innocence and promise. It is a feast of the future.

Most of us like to receive greetings and presents, while young children love being the centre of attention. In celebrating Jesus’ birth we honour one of their age group, one from their young tribe.

The Christ child and his mother are reassuring; only confronting to those who do not value children. A healthy happy baby, growing apace, is a source of wonder and awe and a stimulus to Christian hope. Christmas also reminds us that families and nations decline and disappear unless babies are born, loved and nurtured.

But the truths of Christmas are also central to the Christian idea of God. For some, God is a figure on the boundary, almost out of the game. For others, God is remote, uncaring and indifferent to our suffering.

God is not an absentee landlord. Recently, a grade six boy asked his bishop why, if God loved us so much, He didn’t come himself to visit us. The Christian notion of God means that he did, because the Son, the eternal word, is from within God and is God. Jesus has a divine and human nature.

Christmas shows us that God is personal, much more than the mighty forces of nature. The Son of God once lived among us and continues to act today through his followers and all people of good will. So we can claim in faith that Christ is at work in the firefighters, not in the bushfires they are fighting.

Let us pray once again at this Christmas that through our actions the Christ child will bring peace to all hearts and homes, especially to those who are physically or psychologically ill, to those in detention centres or gaols, to those with little or no hope.

I wish everyone a happy Christmas, to my fellow Christians, to those of other faiths, to those without faith and especially to all battling the drought in country areas. A happy Christmas to you all.

1 comment:

LYL said...

Thanks for posting this, Aaron.