Our parish priests are reporting that the January7, 2020 Christmas liturgies had very good attendance. The Cathedral Parish had both balconies full and many people were standing as well.

In Geelong a large crowd welcomed their new pastor, Fr Iurii Tychenok, who had only arrived from Canada. Although Christmas fell on a working day for many, huge crowds attended our Christmas liturgy to praise and to give thanks for the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Bishop Peter, who visited both Melbourne and Geelong, reminded the faithful that the Birth of Christ was the good news the world needed in this time of very much bad news. He reminded them that in Luke 2:10-12 the Angel instructed those in Bethlehem that a saviour has been born to us, Jesus our Lord. While bad news and evil exist in the world, they do not overpower or destroy us. Christ’s birth gives us hope, because Christmas and our baptism makes us all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus asks to participate in the birth of Christ, and not just to be bystanders. Everyone in Bethlehem became involved in the birth of our saviour, The angels sang, the kings presented gifts, the shepherds praised God. Our faith tells us to change the world by becoming active participants in today’s world and to bring the love and hope of Christ’s birth to those who need it.