I extend a warm personal welcome to my brother priests, religious and lay people, and to the many visitors to this Cathedral, as we celebrate the feast of Christmas. Christmas is the feast of light, when the radiance of God’s Divinitive triumph appears in our present history, offering a new future hope to us as pilgrims. Truly as we enter this Mass, we can say, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9.1)
I believe that the greatest gift of Mary, the humble Jewish girl, the daughter of pious and godly parents, to humanity was her saying yes to God.
We wonder that the coming of God to our world was announced so quietly to a young girl.
I am delighted to be in St. Joseph’s which has stood here for nearly one hundred and sixty years.
Today, I will bless the altar which has stood here since 1890, but which has been remodelled to allow for the possibilities of liturgy permitted in the Church, since the Second Vatican Council, forty years ago.
I welcome you as my closest collaborators as we celebrate this Mass of thanksgiving and hope at the end of another year.
I am deeply conscious of the personal support which each and every one of you give to me and of the service which you render to my ministry of sanctifying, teaching and governing the people of God.