During the Advent Season, the Church's liturgy is filled with references of the longing of the prophet, Isaiah: Drop down you heavens from above, and let the skies pour down the Just One. This longing is fulfilled for us at Christmas by the One who is Justice itself, God-made-man, Jesus Christ.
At this moment our hearts especially long for justice. We are living in a situation in which terrorism, war and poverty are constantly in our minds and before our eyes. In the midst of it all, our prayer surely mirrors that of the prophet: Lord, give to the world the gift of justice.
And so our eyes turn to the poor stable in Bethlehem. In the midst of poverty and social instability, in a land which continues today to be torn apart by warfare and injustice, God enters into the scene of human history and is born as one of us, made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Jesus Christ came and lived among us, experiencing himself the messiness of human life, in order to offer us through that a way to find mercy and peace. As we continue to journey together through this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us look to the Christ Child and so come to know that despite our human frailties and mistakes, God is here with us. Walking by our side, and offering us constantly the opportunity to turn away from darkness and embrace the gift of mercy and peace which he wants to share with all of his creation.
The Right Rev Alan S Hopes
Bishop of East Anglia