Christmas Day is fast approaching—a time to gather with those we love, remembering that in the miracle of the nativity, God also came to keep company with us. Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel, accompanies us in all the ups and downs of our lives, the exuberant celebrations as well as the quieter or more challenging moments. Christmas is a time to welcome him again into our hearts and our lives.
Writing from the Philippines, where the mania for Christmas lights can sometimes feel overwhelming, Fr Nathan Rawlins reflects on how we might avoid being ‘blinded’ by all the flashy distractions that can come with Christmas. Rather than chasing after material or passing things, he says, perhaps we might focus on being a light for others, and on ‘the One who for our sake meets us in the crib’.
Someone who has sought to live this way is Fr Vinh Do. Newly ordained to the priesthood in November, he has, like Mary, responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes' to God. We hear some of his inspiring story: of how, as a 10-year-old boy in Vietnam, he first became aware of his 'deep desire' to serve God, and how that desire has led him to the priesthood and to ministry in Melbourne.
After a couple of years of restrictions and setbacks, about 250 staff from a range of Archdiocesan ministries and agencies were finally able to gather again at St Patrick’s Cathedral for a special Thanksgiving Mass to mark the end of the year. In his homily, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli reflected on the God who comes to deliver us. ‘May this same God of our deliverance, the Son made flesh for us, free us of our burdens, bring us to renewal, and open for us paths of life and peace,’ he said.
And as we begin to turn our minds to a new year and fresh beginnings, we hear about the new brand and visual identity that was recently launched by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS). Designed to reflect the Catholic values that inform their mission, the striking new logo, with the cross at its centre, evokes the purpose of MACS schools: forming lives of faith, hope and love in the light of Jesus Christ.
Finally, a reminder that this is the last e-newsletter for 2022. We will be taking a break over January, returning in the first week of February. In the meantime, we wish you deep joy and peace this Christmas as you celebrate the coming of Christ among us.