Provincial's Reflection

A Christmas message

The birth of Jesus was, in many ways, a small thing, but it had an enormous impact on our world. In his final message as Provincial, Fr Brian McCoy reminds us that it's in small ways that the divine touches us, enters our life and blesses us with joy for the world.

The birth of Jesus was, in many ways, a small thing, but it had an enormous impact on our world. In his final message as Provincial, Fr Brian McCoy reminds us that it’s in small ways that the divine touches us, enters our life and blesses us with joy for the world. Full transcript below. 

Scientists tell us that the coronavirus, like other viruses, is incredibly small. We can’t see it with a naked eye, we can’t feel it, we can’t smell it, we can’t touch it. It is incredibly small.

They say that if it was the size of a five cent coin that any human person would stand some 200 kilometres tall. A reminder of just how small it is.

And it has no brain. It latches on to the human person and especially exploits those who are vulnerable and weak, and it further exploits systems – systems where poor health is provided to those in need, sometimes due to race, ethnicity, migration or those seeking asylum.

It is so small, and yet it has done so much harm. More than one and a half million deaths across the world. 900 deaths within our country. And as Jesuits, more than 50 Jesuits have died across the world this past year.

And in response to the virus, we have responded, as a nation, with all the difficulties of border crossings and lockdowns and ways that we were prevented from doing the things we wanted to do. We have responded in small ways. Three mainly – washing of our hands, wearing masks and keeping social distancing. 

And those small steps have made an enormous difference to the health of our nation. So that now we approach the festive season of Christmas with a hope we weren’t sure we would have some months ago.

The birth of Jesus, some 2000 years ago, was in itself a very small event. Born into the town of Bethlehem, which probably had a population of around 1500 people at that time. His birth at that time was quite unremarkable. One birth, amongst the billions of people who have lived on this earth. Before then, and since then.

One birth, amongst many. And yet, that birth has changed the world.

And it’s changed the world because in his gift of life, His presence amongst us, He has reminded us that in everything we are, and everything we do, the Divine lives amongst us.

A great grace of the Divine entering our world, from creation and from the beginning, but to believe more passionately and personally that the life of the Divine, a life of God, the gift of Christ, lives within each one of us.

As we move to the season of Christmas, we know that in the days to come and in the years to come it’ll continue to be small steps to protect ourselves from sickness, to protect others.But also to be reminded that it is those small ways that the Divine touches us, enters our lives, blesses us with joy for the world.

Let heaven and nature sing, says the hymn, and he does, sing, because the Divine has joined us, and is with us in every small step and gesture we make.

As you know, this is my last video and recording for Australian Jesuit News as Provincial because as of the first of January next year Quyen Vu will replace me as the Provincial for the Australian Province.

I’d like to simply thank you for listening to these videos over the last few months and years. I thank you for being part of this gift of God’s life to our planet, to Earth, to our church.

I wish you all a good rest, which is something I think we all need this summer, but above all I pray for the grace that each of us will know in the small things – small steps, small gestures of our lives, to really feel and believe, and know, the touch of the divine, the love of Christ, the presence of God, and the company of each other for the future together.

A blessed Christmas to you, to your families and to all you love.

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