Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,
In a world marked by violence, disfigured by the scars of wars, of murders, of exploitation and injustice, a Child is born for us to whom has been given the unexpected title: “Prince of Peace”.
Faced with a defenceless child, our hearts are somehow softened and our passions calmed. But the Child of Bethlehem is not only a source of dreams and hopes; He calls us to a radical decision, to a foundational commitment in favour of truthful love. He himself would grow up to become a sign of contradiction heralding a new world where justice, peace and joy would reign.
On the throne of the Cross, the King of kings confronted human violence at its worst … and responded with mercy and forgiveness, thus uncovering for the world new ways to reconciliation and freedom. His Resurrection revealed to his disciples the ultimate meaning of life, woven through with surprising grace and life-giving Spirit. This is the mystery we celebrate at Christmas.
For in Jesus, innocence can be recovered, healed and renewed. Each of us is invited to open our hearts to this Good News, to make it our own, to share it with family, with friends, with an entire country. We celebrate Christmas at the time of year when nights are longest. Is this not a sign that new life can surge forth at the very moment we believed it lost?
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, I pray for a fresh outpouring of heavenly peace on all people of goodwill, both here in the North West of England but especially in those regions of our world where there is conflict, civil disorder, and an absence of that peace which Almighty God desires for all his children.
A happy and peaceful Christmas to all!
+Michael Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster
P.S. The Bishop’s Blog is on a break now until 10 January 2015.