A Message of Hope from His Excellency, Bishop Crosby
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Suffering, sickness, loss and death can make the world seem like a very dark place. Perhaps no other year in memory has seemed so dark as the year we are (most happily!) leaving behind us. Yet even in times of profound darkness, we cannot forget that there is light.
One may ask: on what basis would we focus on light at such a time? In the midst of death and sickness; of shuttered businesses and jobs lost; in a Christmas season where we could not gather together to celebrate – how can one focus on the good?
We can do so because, amidst all the strife, what we have witnessed time and time again this year is this deadly virus met head-on by the light of goodness. Illness and suffering have been faced down by the light of healthcare workers, by medical researchers, by families and caregivers. Poverty, isolation, and loneliness have been met with generosity, solidarity, and prayer. At the most fundamental level, this tiny, invisible yet deadly threat has been met – with only limited exceptions – by innumerable sacrifices, large and small, made by ordinary people in everyday life.
The virus has unmasked the pain of loneliness and isolation: let us commit to emerge from this period casting no one aside. The virus has shown how connected we are: let us move forward more attentive to the poor, the marginalized, the forgotten and all those on the “frontlines” of suffering. The virus has shown how fragile, how vulnerable, how precious human life is: let us commit to protecting and nurturing every life, no matter the cost. The virus has shown what can be accomplished when people of good will work together and make sacrifices: let us continue to work together, to sacrifice for the common good, and to face every other local and global challenge with the same urgency with which we have taken on COVID-19.
In Luke’s Gospel, we hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, proclaim: “In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79) The dawn has broken; this eternal light has a human face. As we celebrate the incarnation of the Light of the World, let us see His light in others; let us be His light for others.
I wish you every blessing for the New Year: may the light, hope, and love we long for be the very blessing of 2021!
(Most Rev.) Douglas Crosby, OMI
Bishop of Hamilton