In their annual Christmas messages, Australia’s bishops have underscored the effects the pandemic has had on society in the past two years, but point to the Christ child as the one who heals a broken world and brings light and joy.
“The harmful force of the pandemic that we have been living with for almost two years has affected everyone,” Bathurst Bishop Michael McKenna writes.
“Some of us have suffered physically; all of us have suffered mentally and socially. We need healing in our minds and in our relationships. We need to find the ways of patience and kindness with one another.
“How can we hope to do that? The light shone to send the shepherds to Bethlehem and led the wise men to the same place and the same child. This child is Emmanuel, God among us, entering our broken world to heal us and make us whole.”
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP says Christmas is the “story of God-made-man holding out his hand in friendship to humanity”.
“The offer is real, tangible, personal, even physical. After two years of isolation, we need it more than ever. In such dark times, Christmas is a ray of light, a sliver of hope”
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SBD says that in Jesus “God comes as close to us as we are close to those we love most deeply. Indeed, God comes even closer for his love never fails, knows no end, and is never limited by the brokenness of our humanity and our proneness to let our love of self get in the way of our love for others.”
Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse’s prayer for this Christmas and New Year season is to “let us all magnify Jesus in our gratitude and humble response to all the amazing things that have happened to us during this extraordinary Covid year of 2021 – both good and not so good”.
Read the bishops’ Christmas messages and a message from Catholic Religious Australia below:
Geraldton and Broome
Catholic Religious Australia