A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Christmas – A Broken world – A Ray of Hope

Fr Bernard Carney sm

Fr Bernard Carney sm

For once the weather of the Southern hemisphere matches the mood of the Church. The birth of Jesus tells us of a new hope. With Spring and early Summer come newly turned furrows and planting of crops. A fresh shade of green sweeps the countryside. The familiar list of woes of a broken world is with us. They run from the threat of ISIS in the Middle East to child poverty in our own society.

From throughout the books of the Old Testament comes comfort from the Lord through the words of his prophets. In Zechariah chapter 8 we read:

The Lord Sabaoth says this: "If this seems a miracle to the remnant of this people (in those days) will it seem one to me?" It is the Lord who speaks. The Lord Sabaoth says this. "Now I am going to save my people ... I will bring them back To live inside Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God in faithfulness and integrity."

The mood of the recent Synod in Rome seems to be trying to catch this cry of God’s mercy for his people. The festal time of Christmas recalls for us when the talking stopped and the action began. With Jesus’ birth, God stepped into the human story. In an obscure place in a far away part of the Roman Empire promises made were being fulfilled.

There were people of faith who witnessed these events and later they were written down. We know them as the books of the New Testament.

God’s action of bringing his Kingdom amongst us has begun. We are to be willing and intelligent participants in the establishment of his reign.

Only, it is difficult for us people of nature to understand God and his ways. Jesus taught us this by so often wrong footing the populace of the times. He was clearly against the evil present in this world and often in the hearts of some people he dealt with.

From the accounts left us, when he was with the people he reached out to sinners and the sick. His mission was to gather and he left us the strong image and reality of his mother Mary as a protector. The climax of his mission was his transforming death and resurrection whereby the fracture between God and humanity is healed.

This tiny child, born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, is the fulfilment of so much hope.

In the November edition of the Marist Messenger, the story of New Zealand’s first Christmas was recalled. The story is Good News in this corner of the globe and will be retold here and everywhere so that peace and good will be with us all.Green Hills 2

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