Kia tau te Rangimarie kia koutou
There is no doubt that 2020 will go down as a difficult year. It will surely go down in history as the year in which we were all caught up together in a life-threatening situation. Society has exerted every effort to the point of ceasing activities in order to confront a previously unknown infectious disease. I
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we as the Church in New Zealand took the stand to act in favour of “protecting all life,” by temporarily suspending Masses and other Church gatherings. It was a difficult time, however in this process we were able to recognize more deeply the existence of a community that is connected through prayer and a deep spiritual bond.
Our hearts can be full of gratitude for all the medical personnel throughout the world who have struggled day and night to save lives, and all those in New Zealand who worked hard to keep us safe. We continue to pray of course for those who are ill and those whose lives and livelihoods have been greatly affected by this crisis. Many people here in New Zealand have spoken of how fortunate we are to live in this land and to have been well cared for. The world though is still living in a difficult situation and the future remains uncertain. As people of faith we unceasingly proclaim the Gospel of Life. Pope Francis has said, “the Proclamation of the Gospel of Life urgently requires that we as a community become a field hospital, ready to heal wounds and to offer always a path of reconciliation and forgiveness.”
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas remember that the new-born child is the very Gospel of Life, our light of hope that shines in the darkness of unbelief and despair. It is in these changing and challenging times that no matter how terrible the situation may be, we continue to live and proclaim the Gospel of Joy, the Gospel of Hope.
With deep thanks for all you have done for the Church throughout this year, and with every blessing for Christmas and 2021.
Meri Kirihimete, Tau Hou hari