We have stepped into the year 2014. By now many of our institutions and facilities have cranked up after a refreshing break with rekindled energy. The target ahead is clear – to face the unfolding challenges with brave and courageous spirit.
For ourselves who gladly bear the name ‘Christian’ this forward thrust is a natural urge called evangelisation; cultivating fresh soil for Church life to flourish with the fragrance of the Gospel. Good and sensible planning avoids careless and futile steps which falter the path forward and prevents needless and harmful collisions. The hidden treasure of Gospel life is that processes are for people and not the reverse. Patience, charity, mutual respect and support, thoughtfulness, encouragement and the recognition of goodness instill confidence and aspire us towards the intended goal.
In his Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel”, (24 Nov 2013) Pope Francis simply observed the importance of the journey ahead of the road map (Article 82).
The journey bears the scars of shame from past and present sins. However, the shadow the Pope insists ‘must never make us forget how many Christians are giving their lives in love’ (Article 76). The Pope expressed tremendous gratitude to all who are committed to working in and for the Church.
I gladly reiterate that sentiment as the year springs into action. Every dedicated Catholic in the Diocese, and those close of association with them, in whatever form their service, are beautiful examples of joyful sacrifices of life and of time. The credible witness is a comfort, the Pope notes, to overcome selfishness and to give more fully of oneself.
I wish all a good and godly year.
Fr. John Grace