By Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton
Christmas in Australia signals that the first month of summer is about to end.
The land and nature seem to be easing into a time of catching their breath after the exciting time of flowering and the setting of fruit. The older eucalyptus leaves are being shed while new leaves replace them. All is slowly being made ready for the second flowering at the end of summer and into autumn.
It is also the time for us to slow somewhat and to enjoy the rest that comes in the holidays. This can be a time of renewing energies for all that lies ahead in the coming year.
The celebration of the birth of Jesus offers us a time for reflection and renewal. It will remind us that we come from God, and we are destined to be with God, who is our loving Father and provides for our life.
The birth of Jesus, our Saviour, was in the plan of God as humans appeared on the earth. The first humans were described in the Book of Genesis as those beings that “came from the ground”. They are creatures like every other living thing on the earth. But they are more than everything else. They have been created in the image and likeness of God.
We need to remember that we are creatures who can know God and learn of the plan for our salvation through the Christ, who has been sent. Jesus most perfectly collaborated with the Father through the obedience of poverty.
He brought a transformation of all that we yearn for in life: being renewed personally; being able to work for true peace and the building of a new community of fraternity and friendship.
This is at the heart of the Christmas festival. The many things around the celebration of Christmas are good, yet at the core is taking the time to look more deeply into our hearts and to discover the new fruit that can emerge by inviting the Spirit of Jesus once more into the centre of our lives.
It is with these thoughts that I pray for you, your families, and communities at the birth of the Saviour.
Let us, during our celebrations together, be mindful of Christ’s presence with us, and that He offers us the way to peace, joy, and renewal.