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Piety marks the advent of Jesus

The Year of Faith, 2012-2013, decreed by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, has at its heart the call to all people to grow in holiness through the wonderful gifts that Christ has given to his Church.

These gifts come to us when we turn to God in personal prayer, when we embrace the scriptures and the teachings of the Church, and when we seek and live the sacramental life which is found in the sacred liturgy, especially the Mass.

Solemn festivities

Canterbury-West Coast parishes of more than 10,000 people under the Christchurch Catholic Diocese gathered in the Central Business District Canterbury Arena on Sunday, November 24, 2013 to celebrate the Liturgy for the Solemnity of Christ the King and the closure of the Year of Faith.

Bishop Barry Jones was fully engaged with many events, including an Expo of 34 organisations under the Diocese featuring the various aspects of the life of the Diocese. Among the highlights of the festivities was a cultural festival of magnificent entertainment programmes.

“Living our faith in Jesus Christ always means living in the Church and sharing His life. Personal faith is always a sharing in the faith of the Church and always comes to us through the work of the Church. At the heart of the faith there is a meeting with God. We never believe alone,” Bishop Jones said during the Mass.

Kerala Dance at Faithfest

Jesus, the Saviour

It was an appropriate event to start the Advent approaching the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is all about hope and faith, preparing us for the birth of Jesus.

It is the fulfilment of promise of God Almighty to give a saviour – Jesus – for the humanity to be salvaged.

In essence, Christmas is sharing; sharing of peace, joy and everything that we have and it is the time of Thanksgiving for all our blessings in the year that is passing.

It is also the time to look forward to the year ahead with hope and optimism.

Let us use this season in the best possible way, through sharing everything we have with our friends, family and everyone around us.

Giving alms

It is also an appropriate time to look at the less fortunate fellow humans around us and do the best possible for them, so that they can also join the peace and joy of Lord Jesus.

As the Lord said, “When you love your fellow, you love me; when you share what you have with your neighbour, you share it with me.”

I wish all our readers, advertisers, fellow-correspondents and well-wishers Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Dr George Abraham is our South Island Correspondent based in Christchurch

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