Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the wake of Christmas I want to wish you all a good New Year.
At the next Easter Vigil, the number 2020 will be traced on the Paschal Candle. “All time belongs to him and all the ages”, says the celebrant. It’s a powerful gesture. We want the light of the Risen Christ to carry and fill our year. It’s powerful too that we keep Advent and celebrate Christmas before the new calendar year begins, and that New Year’s Day is first of all the feast of Mary’s Motherhood.
“In the beginning was the Word…” Eternity comes before time, God before the world, Christ before us and Mary’s motherhood of Jesus extends to his disciples too, to us. We are carried. This gives us the energy to go on and the courage to do so together, “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health.”
For Christians, the New Year is a moment to pray our own future, and the whole world’s, into safer, stronger, more creative hands than just our own. And this feast of the Holy Family is a moment to entrust our own families, with their happiness and stress, their baffling mix of goodness and chaos, to the care of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Let’s always begin from faith.
“So, dear brothers and sisters, wrote St Paul, keep firm and immovable, always abounding in energy for the Lord’s work, being sure that in the Lord none of your labours is wasted” (1 Cor 15:58).
Wishing you every blessing for 2020 and asking your prayers for all the clergy and myself,
Devotedly in Christ,
+ Hugh OSB
(Bishop of Aberdeen)