Archbishop Bathersby on Christmas
Statement Released: Friday, December 16, 2005
I am an unashamed lover of Christmas and that for many reasons. For me the meaning of Christmas has evolved over the years from a fascination with Santa Claus and the promise of presents, to a recognition of its revelation about the God of love in whom I believe. Christmas has always been a feel-good time not only because of its gifts, but because of its unique spirit. There is a softening of people’s attitude to one another, a reaching out to others often total strangers, and a guilty, once-in-the-year attempt to renew friendships with that multitude of people who have touched my life in the past, sometimes near sometimes far away. It is also a season of distant memories – of walking home along Stanthorpe roads after Midnight Mass - of searching for Santa among the stars, of examining the lounge-room chimney to ensure it was clear, of extended-family cricket games on the flat near Quartpot Creek, of dinners overflowing with exotic foods, and of the deep regret on Boxing Day that it was all over.
Each year a thousand different memories came flooding back – of grandparents and parents long deceased, of distant days of sunshine and laughter, of waking early in search of presents, of “Silent Night” at the midnight Mass, of a superabundance of food and drink. Surely Christmas is as close as we ever get to heaven in this troubled life. Long may it continue to weave its own particular brand of magic for us all as we open our eyes to its mystery.
Most Rev John Bathersby DD
ARCHBISHOP OF BRISBANE
The above piece was written by the Archbishop for The Reporter newspaper and published in the December 14 edition
Released by the Catholic Communications Office