A Christmas Message from Most Rev Peter A Comensoli


18 December 2017 General Interest

Hello Friends,

The Incarnation, it's the ‘becoming-human-of-God’, and it the reason for the season as the expression goes. The birth of God among us is why we gather at this time of Christmas but we also gather because of another related reason, deep-down in each one of us we have this intuition – even in the midst of daily struggle and complexity – that our families matter.

These two reasons – God’s Incarnation and our family orientation – are meant to come together at Christmas. And they do so for one mightily important reason: the two are our only sure way to peace.

Peace is something that requires the work of trust, constancy and healthy dose of ‘starting afresh’.

God chose this way of peace as the way of a family to bring His work to the world. God trusted us with pursuing his work of peace by entrusting Himself to a family.

So Jesus did not come into the world via some grand gesture or magic appearance. Jesus is not a super hero. The Son of God came to live among us, as one of us and offer his life for us, in exactly the same way each one of us do, in our families.

So not nations, not cultures, not big ideas – but the humble family is the best evidence we have of how our humanity is fairing, either well or poorly. It is within families that we each learn love, but also sadly violence; we each learn forgiveness, but also bitterness. Because in every family we are a mix of these lights and shadows that then flow into the society we form in our own image.

But God offered us a different way in our families, God considered our humble family life also as the best location where hope may always spring eternal. God saved the world through a family.

So to abandon this hope, to give up on the fundamental place of families in our lives would be to abandon our humanity, and to despair of peace for the world. I don’t want this. I’m certain you don’t want this. And God, in giving us his Son, says to us: neither do I want this.

So God chose a family, the family of Mary and Joseph, to offer us the fulfilment of this hope. Mary said yes to God and welcomed a Son; Joseph said yes to Mary and formed a home; and God said yes to us, and gave us the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our hope. He shows us the way to peace. But He came to us with this hope though His family.

So friends, love your family, in all its complexities and messiness; learn to forgive where this is needed; work for each other’s goodness, not just your own; and foster hope by building trust.

This Christmas, may God’s Incarnation and your family find a way of coming together, so that the work of peace – so desperately needed for our world – might start afresh from Christ and find a home in you.

Happy Christmas.

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli
Bishop of Broken Bay



Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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