New Year Greetings! I pray that in 2015 you may savour the graces that will come your way and that nothing will steal from your hearts the true peace and joy that the Christ Child brings.
I was going to express the wish, in the line above, that you will receive many graces. Then I corrected myself. Fact: We live each day, receive all that we have, through the goodness and love of God. You have lived through 2014 and see a New Year only through the grace of God, his amazing grace. So, I wish that in 2015 you and I may relish, appreciate, “taste” the goodness of God. Everything is grace.
It is not easy to explain or define grace.
Let me share with you some ways in which I have glimpsed it more recently.
I have now been in the parish a little over three months. It has been a challenging period. Uprooting oneself from one place and moving to another, as you may know, is not always easy: some will say is never easy. But then, there was my illness with its own challenges. I thank God for his healing. Thank you for your support, not least of all through your prayers. Thank you. This is God’s amazing grace.
As I stood in the sanctuary of the main church in September and took in the stately architecture and brought to mind its 200-year-old history, I knew to be here now was grace. And each week, the Lord shows me something new and amazing in its own way. One week it is the many children and young people. Another week it is the light from the stained glass window reflecting on the Divine Mercy image in the sanctuary, lighting up the rays that flow from the heart of Jesus. Last week it was the sight of several families present for Mass and the many men, of all age groups, who were there – not the usual sight in many parishes.
Here, too, is God’s grace.
As we enter a brand New Year, what will God do among us? How will his grace be most evident? I do not know, but I know his amazing grace will be given us. We will need to listen intently to his word, to be vigilant, to unite our hearts with his and one another. I find all this very exciting.
Well, don’t you?
May God bless you all.
Msgr Cuthbert Alexander