Archbishop Barry Hickey’s Christmas message
At a time when others want to focus our minds on fear of economic crisis or climate change, Christmas reminds Catholics that we always live in the joy of God’s love for us.
Whatever the circumstances that may come our way, we can always remind ourselves that the meaning of life is found in the goodness of God and his plans for us, and His plans for us are peace and not disaster.
Even if the material world around us begins to crumble, physically or financially, we know that we are loved and that God’s love will see us safely through to eternity.
Knowing that God loves us, we can rely on the spiritual values of love, generosity and forgiveness in our family life and in our relationships with others.
They are far happier states to live in than fear and anxiety about anything..
These spiritual values are not only the way to express ourselves internally, but also the best way to express ourselves outwardly towards others.
They enable us to treat people in difficulties as our brothers and sisters and stand by them through their trials. Reaching out to others contributes not only to our peace and joy, but also to the peace and joy of the community around us.
Christmas brings these truths to our minds in a deep and joyous celebration which reawakens our own experience of the truth and beauty of God’s relationship with us.
It is also brings to mind the wonder of our own families. When God sent his only Son to join and save the human race, He placed Him firmly in a family with a mother and a father who were prepared to devote their lives to Jesus.
The beauty that we all see in the Holy Family is also the beauty about our own families, where the love of parents leads to the full development of their children. Mothers and fathers who honour one another and their children will be supported by Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their struggles.
That makes a Happy Christmas, indeed.