In his Christmas message for 2022, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli invites us to stand ‘barefoot’ with Jesus, whose bare soles touched the earth when he came to live as one of us. As we approach Christmas Day, and the new year that lies beyond it, he encourages us to remove our ‘shoes’ and ‘to feel the sacred ground of our lives with God.’
This week we offer a number of stories that might help us to reflect on this ‘sacred ground’, and on how we might encounter our incarnational God in every part and stage of our lives.
Young people have a special role to play in the life of the Church as it seeks the new life heralded by the coming of Jesus into our world. So this week’s news that the Archdiocese of Melbourne will be hosting the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December 2024 is particularly exciting. As Archbishop Comensoli said, ‘ACYF is a great opportunity for our young Church. It is a real invitation for pilgrims to enter more deeply into their relationship with Jesus and be empowered to be disciples in the world today.’
Of course, those who have been persevering in the life of faith for many years also have a special role to play, and last week the retired priests who live together at Justin Villa and George Maher House gathered for Mass and festive Christmas lunches with the Archbishop. It was an opportunity to honour and celebrate a ‘family’ of faithful men who continue quietly and prayerfully to live out their vocations.
Christmas is a time when we are especially conscious of the gift of our families, in all their beautiful complexity. Lucy Davison reflects on a very particular family Christmas in 1981, and on what it taught her about the meaning of Christmas.
This Sunday afternoon, St Patrick’s Cathedral will host ‘A Christmas Celebration’, a family concert of modern and traditional Christmas favourites. In preparation for this special event, we take a look at the fascinating stories behind some of our most beloved carols.
Please note that next week’s e-newsletter will be the last for 2022. We will be taking a break over January and will return in February with more stories and opportunities to encourage and inspire us as we seek to stand on the 'sacred ground' of life with Jesus.