Fr Mark’s Christmas Message 2020

Historically 2020 has been a most challenging year near and far. With fires raging at times, others just slowly burned until conditions allowed them to explode uncontrollably, in every direction. The Eastern side of New South Wales from the range running to the coast was on fire with most fires eventually linking one to another. If ever there was a catastrophe it was in these blazing fireballs! The pattern of its journey left in its wake a trail of ravaged forests. What was green in its landscape was now black or brown. Lives were lost, wildlife sizzled to death, homes and property left in cinders. Many have been left traumatised as people continue their efforts to rebuild their lives.

Again, as in the worst of disasters, the reply from people near and far can never be under-rated. Our parish of Holy Spirit alone dug deep and contributed $23,000. How fitting the words; ‘The people in darkness have seen a great light!’ Metaphorically, the evil of the trail of flames can only be healed in people’s lives, through the love and concern of those willing to share their good fortune with those in greater need. Such generosity reignites the flame of hope! (no pun intended!)

Just when the flames were simmering and fundraising on a high, a further potential wipe out hit our shores. We joined the world around us with Covid19. This continues to tantalise medical experts as they seek answers in the control of this bug on the human race. It’s not over yet. As happens when we are forced to adapt our routine life, there are still great things happening. It has put a check on our movements and slowed us up. Less travel, less events, less clubs etc. Time at home to talk to each other and maybe reflect on what is more important. Family prayer is needed and should not be forgotten! Trust that God knows why these things are sent to test us.

I will finish with this poem which is fitting at this moment. It reminds us that when we lose our hope – we could take a journey back to Bethlehem, to sit around the manger, and reclaim our hope at the place where it began….

The Road to Hope
The journey we take to Bethlehem
Is a road not easily taken
Because we lose our hope along the way and end up feeling forsaken.
But if we walk the road of His birth
We see it in a different light
We see miracles, and angels glorifying God!
And a star from above, shining so bright!
What better sign is there for a future for us all
Than the shepherds with their sheep?
Like God they take care of every single one,
Without ever falling asleep.
What better sign for the love we feel
Than the baby fragile and small
That He would reign above all the world
And knows the name of each and all?
What better hope is there on this road
Than what God and creation pointed out
That those who believe in the miracle of love.
Will understand exactly what Christmas is about! ~ VLINDERSAG
Have a Happy Christmas season!
Fr Mark

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