A Christmas Message from Fr Mark

‘Hope is a powerful force. It can pull you from the depths of despair or fuel your dreams.
With hope, anything is possible. Without it, life is a dull prospect.’

Jasmine Robinson has just completed Year 6 at Good Shepherd School. In Year One, not feeling her healthy and robust best, Jasmine just couldn’t shake herself out of a feeling of lethargy.

The worst was realised on the 10th of May 2014, after her GP sent Jas to the pathologist. Vanessa, her mother recalls the dreaded moment of being called in to speak with a team of waiting doctors at Canberra Hospital. Vanessa said; ‘That evening I received the phone call that changed our lives…’ At seven years of age Jasmine was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).

Such devastating news is crushing for anyone let alone a child, her parents, Matt and Vanessa and older brother Blake. The fight for life began at that moment. Treatments for such a condition needed to start immediately at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick. Accompanied by her mother, Jas was flown straightaway to Sydney to begin radical treatment. The family spent the first four months fulltime in Sydney and for the next eight months were back and forth down the highway for continued treatments. The side effects of such treatments saw Jas fight a serious lung infection and a severely broken leg. For all the medical teams could offer in treatments, most vitally her specialist advised that Jas had to “fight.” And fight she did!

With the support and prayers of her parents, a doting brother and the school and parish community, Jas is far luckier than many others. In total it was two years of treatment and only recently with a fifth-year clearance, Jasmine Robinson is  considered ‘cured.’ This little summary doesn’t fully detail the dedication of her family, nor the inspiration Jas exemplified during that period and still today! She is a little warrior who involves herself energetically to whatever the moment is with her peers around school life and beyond.

It is a story of great hope. At Christmas we need to focus on the positives of life. Life throws up so many unknowns in an instant which can change our lives forever. Christians know Christ as the Light of the world. We are sharers in this wonderful story of Christ’s birth. The great hope for us is that whatever the weight of the Cross placed upon any of us during our earthly life, we are never alone.

Despite the measure of the pains we all face at different hours, to just reflect on God giving us His only Son, who sacrificed his life for our sins, we might ponder further the depth of the love God has for each one of us. In God’s gift of his child Jesus at Christmas, the hopes of the prophets were fulfilled. God doesn’t make empty promises. Jesus is the Light who overcomes all darkness.

Whatever your predicament at this hour, hold firm and know in some shape or form the hand of Christ will continue to touch your life. Happy Christmas!

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