Walking Together … at Christmas

 

Despite COVID 19 still present in the community, in comparison to recent years we are able to enjoy this Christmas and New Year time in relative freedom from drastic restrictions. We can meet each other face to face and not simply on a computer screen. We can cultivate deeper friendships.

So let us focus anew on the Christmas story.

Regardless of religion or the lack of it, people are generally happy to walk together at Christmas and reflect on their lives in the light of the coming of Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem.

Walking together and reflecting on this “Silent Night, Holy Night”, gives us an opportunity to deepen inner silence in our chaotic lives. We can permit ourselves to be still for a moment in our change of era. A response can be made in simplicity in contrast to life’s confusions.

I trust that such reflections can make us more graceful and peaceful. Hope is given. A star leads us.

Humble shepherds help us to reflect on the lost, lonely and least around us. We are given motivation to offer practical assistance.

By walking together at Christmas, we realise afresh that we are not alone. We dismiss the temptation from self-appointed ideological elites that life is merely about “my choice” and “my Rights”. We start to talk also about “our responsibilities and duties” to family and society’s poor and oppressed.

Walking together means that this time is not simply “the festive season”. We are not reduced merely to eating and shopping. It is also “the Christmas season”. It is when “God-is-with-us” (Emmanuel) in Jesus. There is joy and laughter. There is song and hope. There is transcendence and radiance.

Let us pray for peace in our world, especially in Ukraine. May we do all we can to make peace flourish as we walk locally under God’s “Star of Wonder”.

May Jesus bless and protect you all at this Christmas time!

Walking Together

Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn
Apostolic Administrator, Military Ordinariate of Australia
Christmas 2022