Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmass 2010

Here's the Christmass missive to the folks at the Anglican Diaspora. I thought it pertinent to put it here too as the sentiments are precisely the same.

It's been an astonishing year and another of great upheaval which necessarily affects our Christian brotherhood. The word of the year has clearly been "Patrimony" and it is precisely this issue of patrimony that is causing division between us: some of us are leaving to set up Ordinariates within the Roman Catholic Church whilst others of us see their identity as apart from Rome. This is causing so much tension down to the smallest of parishes, and we must each of us pray for the stability and charity for all.

If we are going to consider the word "patrimony", then surely we must focus on St Joseph who acts as the human father of Our Lord. Initially, he seeks to distance himself from Our Lady gently and trying to preserve her honour in an ambient society which would perceive her very negatively. Upon the instruction from the Angel, St Joseph is willing to take her for his wife and extend his patrimony to the Son of God. Legally, he has the right to refuse, but, out of duty to God, he accepts and, in accepting this patrimony, finds himself part of the Holy Family.

In the same way, Anglican Patrimony should be about becoming the guardians of the Christ-child together. There is so much that separates us - indeed much that seeks to separate us unjustly and unkindly - but the image of the Holy Family huddled in the corner of a stable is a sign of solidarity and mutual protection. Surely this is at the heart of the idea of any patrimony not just our Anglican identity. God is Our Father whether we are even Christian or not, and we can be sure of His patrimony - though only as adopted children - if only we would all listen to Him and align ourselves to the same inheritance that He promises. Anglican Patrimony must also seek to hold tight to that Holy Family, and in embracing those three figures around the manger, we share in the Love that binds them together, for in embracing the man and the woman, we surely also embrace the child who is God Himself.

Dear friends, may your Christmass be joyful and warm and may the Holy Family guide us all together into the patrimony of God.

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