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Tuesday, 15 December 2015 12:29

The ultimate Christmas gift

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Sr Berneice Loch rsm150 2015As the world seems more angry, hatefilled and less tolerant, this Christmas the greatest gift any of us can give is the love of God, writes CRA President Sister Berneice Loch rsm.

"Not death, not life, not angels or rulers
not things present, not things to come…
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

 

It sounds clichéd, but I am sure we can all firmly agree that this Christmas the greatest gift any of us can give is the love of God. I don’t know about you, but from my experience it seems that the world is becoming more angry, hatefilled and less tolerant. Sadly fear has replaced love as the default state of being for many people.

There are many forces at work promoting this fear. Turning on the television news or opening a newspaper brings with it story after story of hate, fear and anger. In following the ‘script’, we are supposedly meant to regard certain classes and races of people as the ‘other’, using their differences as justification to impose a barrier, whether this be a physical barrier to their entering our country or a barrier around our hearts and minds towards ‘certain people’.

It is perhaps chicken and egg, however the media must be reflecting a mood within the public, otherwise they wouldn’t put the programs to air they do. A question I often wonder is whether the world into which God manifest through the person of Jesus was as chaotic, hatefilled and fearfilled? I suspect it was, which is why Jesus in his modelling another way was ultimately crucified.

Most of us won’t end up being physically crucified for going against the grain by promoting love over hate. Many of us have, however, experienced suffering and pain in seeking to take what seems to many in society to be a different path. Often this suffering can be the frustration in not being able to change people’s views (including the views at times of some within our own church) which can so easily cast people into the realm of the ‘other’, without recognising our inherent loving connection to all people through all of us being ‘children of God’.

As we celebrate Christmas, may this be a time of reinvigoration of our mission in spreading the love of God. May the celebration of Jesus’ birth next week be a rebirth for us all as we seek to continue to give the gift of our love to a world badly in need of our loving presence.

May you and yours experience the blessings of peace this Christmas.

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