As the year draws to a close – Thank you! It will take me more than two words to say a sincere thanks to so many of you for so many things this year.
Throughout the year we have been working on firmly establishing Stewardship in the Archdiocese. This has involved a number of very well attended Stewardship Days and wonderful participation by many. On these days I have reminded all participants of these words:
Gratitude – we receive the gift of God (and everything is God’s gift) with gratitude.
Responsibility – we cultivate the gifts of God with responsibility.
Generosity we share these gifts with others and share them generously.
Return— we return the gifts with increase to God.
We have had our Archdiocesan Synod with the theme of “Go, you are sent”. The opportunity to participate in the Synod process in the months preceding the Synod weekend was taken up by hundreds, if not thousands of people. The prayerful engagement in the Synod process led to a week-end of listening and dialogue, which in turn led to 96 proposals being presented to me. This has already given a new sense of purpose – Mission – to the diocese and the desire to go to the peripheries, to accompany and support those who are struggling in life.
Pope Francis’ prayer for our Synod was that “the Synod will encourage all the faithful to face the opportunities and challenges of the present moment through a renewed encounter with Christ and the saving message of the Gospel.” I believe his prayer for us continues as we prepare for the Christ-mas season “when the kindness and love of God our Saviour for human-kind were revealed …” (Titus 3 4-7).
This has been a very busy year, a very full year, and it is all because of “the kindness and love of God” gifted to us in the birth of Jesus.
This Christmas my prayer for all of you is that:
we all receive Jesus, the Gift of God, with gratitude in our lives;
we look for ways to use with responsibility the gift of Jesus in our lives;
we share Jesus generously with others, share his love, share his words, share his presence;
we realize that all is gift, and in return all gifts to God in love.
I pray too that as we prepare for Christmas we will all live it in such a way that it is a renewed encounter with Christ and with the saving message of His Gospel .
With prayers and sincere thanks to you all for your wonderful support throughout this year.
Every blessing and Happy Christmas