Christmas message 2019 from Cardinal Vincent Nichols
An important part of our Christmas decorations in churches, homes and in public places are the thousands of lights that shine brightly in the darkness.
For me each light represents an act of kindness, countless lights representing countless acts of kindness that so characterise our society. Yes, it is true, our society is full of generosity and compassion, although we do not shout about it.
Constantly people respond to need, with quiet dedication and goodness. We may be in difficult times, yet these lights of kindness shine brightly in that surrounding darkness. In our parishes, schools and Catholic agencies throughout the land many come forward to respond with generosity to the needs of the hungry, the homeless, the lonely and all who are in need of God’s love. I thank each of you who witness to God’s compassion and mercy in these many acts of kindness.
This kindness springs from all that is best in the human spirit and is an expression of the will of our Creator, the God in whose image and likeness every human being is made. The source of this goodness is the innate goodness of God, flowing through us.
We see that these thousands of Christmas lights lead us to the one light from which they flow: the one great light, the light of God made visible in the birth of this Child, Jesus. As St John tells us: ‘His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). When we set ourselves close to him, his light shines in and through us too. He is the pathway we are to follow.
May the light of Christ shine in our actions so that all may see and come to the joy and delight at the heart of this great Feast.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Picture: Cardinal Vincent Nichols. (Mazur/cbcew.org.uk).