May the spirit of mercy and hope be with you this Christmas

24/Dec/2021     Mission

Hope is a gift. To give hope to another is one of the greatest gifts you can give. This festive season let us ask: what can we do this Christmas to bring hope to others?

All faith traditions have hope as a central part of their ethos. In the Christian faith tradition, the Christmas season is a time to celebrate when a baby born in a stable gave hope to the world. Jesus’ gift to a troubled world was to be an example of compassion and integrity, especially to the marginalised of society. Jesus famously said, “I have come so you may have life. Live life to the full.” (John 10:10.)

This example of love inspired Catherine McAuley to share this same compassion in her everyday relationships and interactions with others. Hope and resilience have been a part of the Mercy story since the earliest times of Catherine’s life. She experienced the deaths of many around her and suffered hardship in many forms of opposition throughout her life. Yet the mercy, compassion and hope shown to others in need never waned. Catherine’s selflessness, hope and faith motivated her to empower others. "A community in which this universal charity reigns, is capable of surmounting all difficulties." (Catherine McAuley)

It seems that we enter each new year with a hope for better things, with a willingness to improve our health, our wellbeing and our future in some tangible way. We are hopeful that though our world may change, though our lives may change, we will still flourish.  

Christmas is also a time for us to pause and reflect for a moment on our engagement with those in our lives, our family and our community. For many of us it is a time of celebration and hospitality; however, for some, it is a time of loneliness and increased vulnerability. 

During the Christmas season, many of us will enjoy the company of people we love and care for. Sadly, some of you will be apart through distance and circumstance, including the current escalating COVID situation. Yet hope is always part of our story. To give, truly is to receive. To combat loneliness, seek out the lonely. To experience joy, be joyful for others. To receive love, be loving to others. To know hope, be hope for someone else. To enjoy life, help someone else enjoy their life. Hope makes all things possible. Hope is something we give to each other.

The Christmas story is a simple one of hope, hospitality and love. May your Christmas be happy, holy and hopeful and may you be able to share this with others. 

Best wishes,

Alanna Jacoby
Chief of Mission

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