Christmas Message from Archbishop George Stack

The word ‘crisis’ has two distinct meanings. The first simply means a disaster when things get out of hand and problems seem to have no solution. The other meaning is an opportunity, a challenge, a new way of looking at things and finding creative solutions.

We have certainly had our share of the first meaning of crisis in the year that is passing. Storms and flooding at the beginning. The Corona Virus pandemic. The Economic downturn. Confusion over Brexit. Yet in the midst of all this turmoil, the strength,compassion,courage and durability of countless people has shone through. I think immediately of the staff of the Health Service.The caring and emergency professions. The teachers who have continued to educate our children sometimes in the most difficult circumstances. The army of volunteers all over Wales and in this diocese of Cardiff who have who have devoted themselves and visited,shopped,befriended,distributed food parcels,manned food banks and cooked countless dinners for those in need. The panic of crisis is surely giving way to new opportunities, new challenges, new ways of looking and living life not merely for ourselves but for others as well.

We celebrate Christmas at the darkest time of the year. Will the sun ever rise again? Our pagan ancestors worshipped the sun ‘Sol Invictus’ translated as the unconquerable sun. We worship the true Son, Jesus Christ, who shines light in the darkness,brings hope over fear and love over hate. As the Christmas lights shine in every home, may we walk always in his light. May that light shine on the darkest corners of our world and our hearts. Then,surely, we can hope and pray for a Happy and Holy New Year.