Docstoc

Christmas Message 2010

Document Sample
Christmas Message 2010 Powered By Docstoc
					                    DIOCESE OF HEXHAM AND NEWCASTLE


                              Rt Rev Séamus Cunningham
                            Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

                                         Christmas Message 2010


A few weeks after Pope Benedict XVI‟s visit to England and Scotland, people gathered in St Mary‟s
Cathedral, at Newcastle from almost every one of our 180 parishes in the diocese of Hexham and
Newcastle. They had come to collect a candle and a picture which the Holy Father had blessed
during his visit.


The picture is the famous and beautiful picture of “The Light of World” by Holman Hunt, showing
Jesus knocking on a door. When the picture was first shown to the public, the artists‟ attention
was drawn to a serious flaw; there was no handle on the door. The artist explained that this was
very deliberate, because it represented the reality. The door is the door of the human heart and
there is no handle on the outside; Jesus cannot enter unless I open the door and invite him in.
“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door I will come in and we will share a
meal as friends (Rev 3:20).


When Pope Benedict addressed the young people of our country, at the Piazza outside
Westminster Cathedral, he invited them to open the door of their hearts. He invited them to look
into their hearts and realise that their hearts are made for love – both to receive and to give love.


“We were made to receive love, and we have. Every day we should thank God for the love we
have already known. For the love that has made us who we are. The love that has shown us what
is truly important in life. We need to thank the Lord for the love we have received from our
families, our friends, our teachers, and all those people in our lives who have helped us to realise
how precious we are in their eyes, and in the eyes of God.
We were also made to give love, to make it the inspiration for all we do, and the most enduring
thing in our lives. At times it seems so natural, especially when we feel the exhilaration of love,
when our hearts brim over with generosity, idealism, the desire to help others to build a better
world - but at other times, we realise it is difficult to love. Our hearts can easily be hardened by
selfishness, envy and pride.” (Pope Benedict VXI, Saturday 18th September Westminster Cathedral
Piazza).


           Bishop’s House, East Denton Hall, 800 West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 2BJ

                    Tel: +44 (0) 191 228 0003 Fax: +44 (0) 191 274 0432 Email: office@rcdhn.org.uk
                                                  Charity No: 235686
                  DIOCESE OF HEXHAM AND NEWCASTLE


                               Rt Rev Séamus Cunningham
                             Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle


Christmas is a special time for giving and receiving love. It is an invitation to go into the heart,
open the door, let Jesus in and say our personal „Yes‟ as Mary did at the Annunciation.


When I open the door and let him in, then my heart will be his manger this Christmas. It is there
in the stillness and quiet of my heart that I will get to know him and not just know about him. I
will experience his transforming power at work in my life. It is there he will come to life in me,
move in me and grow in me, and it is from that place of stillness and quiet that I will look out
through his eyes and see people and things in a new way. I‟ll look out with eyes of love, mercy,
compassion and understanding and see the real needs of people around me and reach out to them
in love. His power will be breaking through me into the lives of the people I meet – making a
difference in their lives.


If I open the door and let Jesus in this Christmas, then I am sure that later on I will hear another
knock. If I ask what it is now he will answer, “I want to get back out again; back out though your
words and action and through you I want to make a real difference”. Then I will have found the
true meaning of Christmas as love pours out of my heart; as I become aware of the needs of
those around me and I reach out to them with love and joy. The human heart will indeed be the
manger this Christmas.


Happy Christmas to you all.




 Rt Rev Séamus Cunningham
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle




          Bishop’s House, East Denton Hall, 800 West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 2BJ

                    Tel: +44 (0) 191 228 0003 Fax: +44 (0) 191 274 0432 Email: office@rcdhn.org.uk
                                                  Charity No: 235686

				
DOCUMENT INFO