Bishop Alan has written a pastoral letter for the Feast of the Holy Family. In it he talks about the ongoing global pandemic as unprecedented, noting that “despite the suffering and tribulations of many, it has also been a time of astonishing generosity, courage and goodness”.
Referring to the readings for the Feastday, he observes: “St Paul talks of the gifts of discipleship in Christ – we are clothed in sincere compassion, kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Our Lord’s way can become our way – ‘Bear with one another. Forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins’.”
Bishop Alan says: “Christmas is rightly a time of forgiveness and reconciliation; a time of concern for the whole human family. Earlier this month Pope Francis demonstrated this when he visited a refugee/migrant centre in Greece. ‘Rather than bickering over ideas,’ said the Pope, it would be better to ‘broaden our gaze to take in the problems of the majority of humanity, of all those peoples who are victims of humanitarian emergencies they did not create, yet have to endure as the latest chapter in a long history of exploitation’.”
The holy family, Bishop Alan pointed out, began their life together as migrants in a strange land. “In Christ our world can be transformed – let the message of Christ, in all its richness find a home in us; never let us say or do anything, except in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Read the full letter here: Pastoral Letter for the Feast of the Holy Family 2021