by Reverend Deacon George Piech Meat from St Mary's Parish Dandenong and Chaplain to the South Sudanese Catholic Community
As I write this Message of Hope for this week, the Christian Catholic tradition focuses on celebrating the third Sunday of Advent (Liturgical season before Christmas).
And this coming Sunday is called “Gaudete” Sunday – the Latin word for ‘rejoice’.
We rejoice as we approach the great season of Christmas, and as we say goodbye to the end of this year 2021, we prepare ourselves to welcome the new year of 2022.
I had the privilege of writing a Message of Hope last year encouraging us to be hopeful and resilient as we faced the uncertain situation of Covid 19.
My last message was encouraging us to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Indeed, the light at the end of the tunnel has come as we reconnect with our families, friends, and our communities.
The light at end of the tunnel has indeed come as our lives are back to normal.
Our family gatherings, our community events and our religious gatherings are now slowly returning to normal.
The light at the end of the tunnel has indeed come as our cities prepare to celebrate this year’s Christmas in hope.
Christmas is a time of family gathering and community celebration.
It’s an opportunity for me to encourage all our communities to follow the health guidelines so that we can protect our vulnerable members in our communities.
Let us stand together in helping our law enforcement in our cities as they sacrifice their time and lives in protecting our communities.
The coming of Christ brings to us a message of hope, peace, joy and love.
May we all remain hopeful that a time will come where there will be a permanent solution to this global pandemic.
May the peace of Christ give us peace in this time of fear and doubt.
May the joy of this Christmas give us joy in times of sadness and may the love which this Christmas brings give us love for one another.
May we reach out to those who will find this Christmas meaningless due to loss of loved ones.
May we also reach out to the homeless and the lonely in our cities and communities.
Have a blessed Christmas to you and your families.