“I invite all of you, but especially public representatives and all who believe in a more just and compassionate world, to support the call of Pope Francis for an all-out concerted action to end world hunger by the year 2025″ – Cardinal Brady
The celebration of Christmas recalling, as it does, the coming into
the world of the Son of God, His birth at Bethlehem and His first
appearances to people, always brings fresh and joyful hope. These are my
hopes this year.
My first hope is that all who come home for Christmas may really feel
welcome and appreciate the love of relatives, families and friends, and
find the Lord in their loved ones.
As those who have come for Christmas
from afar know well, the love we experience in our families is
precious. For it is a reflection of the love which God has for each one
of us – the same love which inspired the Father to send his beloved Son
to be our Saviour on that first Christmas night.
I also hope that the great activities of preparing for, and
celebrating, Christmas will not overshadow Christ and the many gifts
that He wants to bring, especially the gifts of love, peace and pardon. A
seventeenth century hymn puts it more poetically thus:
Daughter of Sion, rise to greet thine infant king
Nor let thy stubborn heart despise the pardon he doth bring.
My next hope is for those without company, without food and warmth at
this season. May they be sustained by the concern of fellow human
beings. Of course, I am thinking of people in need here at home but also
of people in the Philippines, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the
I am thinking also especially of the many people throughout the world
who have no peace. Through the work of wise and compassionate
negotiators, may they too experience the salvation brought by Christ.
My final hope is that all of us come to see that the Birth of Christ
means little or nothing if He has not been born in our hearts. This
means that the work of Christmas really begins when we console the
broken-hearted, feed the hungry, welcome the strangers, release the
prisoners and bring peace among people.
For that reason I invite all of you, but especially public
representatives and all who believe in a more just and compassionate
world, to support the call of Pope Francis for an all-out concerted
action to end world hunger by the year 2025. The initiative is called:
‘One Human Family. Food for All’. For far too long we have allowed
global hunger and local poverty to be seen as tolerable. The fact is
this; we can solve the problem of hunger and poverty, if we decide to do
so. Let us recall once more: the work of Christmas begins when we feed
the hungry and may God speed that work in 2014.
The people, who made Christmas for me and mine, when I was a child,
are long since dead but they are not dead in my heart or in my memory.
However, the fact that they live on in my memory will not make them last
forever. What will make them last forever is that they are alive in the
heart of God. A Saviour has been born for us; he has saved us from
everlasting death. Because of Christmas Day, we can all live forever.
Christmas is indeed a special day. May it be very special day for
everyone of you this year and may the peace of Jesus triumph in your
hearts every day in 2014.