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Bishop Treanor’s Christmas Message: The Season of Hope and Joy

Bishop Treanor’s Christmas Message: The Season of Hope and Joy

Discerning the signs of the times and following the hope-filled guidance of a star, the wise men journeyed to Bethlehem where they found the child Jesus lying in a manger. Contemplating the face of the incarnate God-child, they recognised God’s promise embodied in Emmanuel, God-with-us. Their meeting with Jesus compelled the wise men to navigate and follow a different path, to return home via an alternative route because this encounter changed and transformed them. It seems that they received from God a new vision, a new mission which was different to Herod’s destructive plan.

Like the wise men, in the new-born Christ, we have been offered a new and unique way of looking at the world. God calls us in Baptism to be his messengers of hope, especially to those who face disillusionment and despair (Lk. 4:18-19). The Christian faith is the religion of hope. We are living in times of profound cultural, sociological, political, legislative and environmental change. Such times of change and transition can generate fear, anxiety, insecurity and despair. Indeed, around us we see signs of a growing polarisation in society, politics and even in the Church, a polarisation that sadly spawns intolerance, insecurity, and indifference. In contrast, the luminous guidance of faith provides a source of constancy within the darkness of hopelessness.

Across the world, the Christian message of hope continues to resource hope, even in places where historically there were no supportive structures for the practice of faith in society. Such prophetic Christian communities can inspire us to seek new paradigms of engagement within society, by the radical exercise of our personal freedom of choosing to live the perennial and unchanging values of the Gospel. Christmas invites us to bear prophetic witness to the ever-new vision of life revealed in the living Word of God, incarnate in Jesus Christ.

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