Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Advent - Focus on the Essential

Elizabeth cried out: "Why should I be honour with a visit from the mother of my Lord?"

The Advent-Christmas season focuses us on what is at the heart of our faith. 

Jesus is Emmanuel - God with us, God for us.

The community of the Lord's disciples has as its primary role to witness to this God of love who has come in search of us.

So often the Church is seen only in the light of its problems - even by believers. Yes, there are issues and problems galore but all should be viewed in the light of the astonishing goodness that has been made known to us.

If we lose sight of Christ and who he is - what point is there in belonging to the faith community?  

Pope Benedict recalls how, "When I used go to Germany in the 1980s and '90s, I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems. 

If we let ourselves be drawn constantly into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears.

I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith. God is Love - to the point that he completely humbled himself, assuming a human body and finally, giving himself into our hands as bread. We know that God is not a philosophical hypothesis, he is not something that perhaps exists, but we know him and he knows us.” 

The Pope points out: "Many seek meditation elsewhere because they think that they will not be able to find a spiritual dimension in Christianity. We must show them once again not only that this spiritual dimension exists but that it is the source of all things.”

Christ, Son of God and Mary's child, is our message. 

The Gospel of grace not moralism is our gift to the world.