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Looking Forward With Renewed Hope!

Looking Forward With Renewed Hope!

During this time, while the COVID pandemic still weighs heavy on the world, the Pope told the young people, there is “all the more reason we are called to examine ourselves and not to lose hope.” (photo: Jacob_09 / Shutterstock)

A NOTE FROM OUR PUBLISHER: The crises we face today may take a different form and name, but they aren’t new.

Looking back at 2021 and forward to 2022, there is cause for both concern and optimism.

In spite of the continued assaults on our religious freedom, we have courageous institutions and citizens who continue to push back against efforts to undermine our first freedoms, including for worship and free exercise. For every baptized Catholic like a Joe Biden or a Nancy Pelosi who publicly opposes long-settled Church teaching, there are many believers like former Anglican bishop and Catholic convert Michael Nazir-Ali who are drawn to the Church for its clear, unwavering teaching based on the truth entrusted to her by Christ. And for every misguided Church official who chooses to accept sinful behaviors, there are countless others who name them for what they are and strive to exhort all God’s children to their higher calling.

Such individuals are bravely living out their Christian calling in the challenging context of today’s complicated world. And their witness always points to the reason for our hope. As Pope Francis noted in his address to young adults and teens at a Christmas concert last month in Rome, “The feast of the Birth of Christ does not clash with the trial we are experiencing, because it is the feast of compassion, of tenderness par excellence. Its beauty is humble and full of human warmth.”

He added that “the beauty of Christmas shines through in the sharing of small gestures of concrete love. It is not alienating, is not superficial, is not evasive; on the contrary, it widens the heart, opens it to give freely … opens it to the gift of self, and can also generate cultural, social and educational dynamics.”

During this time, while the COVID pandemic still weighs heavy on the world, the Pope told the young people, there is “all the more reason we are called to examine ourselves and not to lose hope.”

The crises we face today may take a different form and name, but they aren’t new. In encountering these challenges through the ages, the faithful have answered them with increased faith, hope and love — and that’s what you and I are tasked with today. It is especially during times like these that I am most comforted that you are with us in prayer, action, and an ever-deepening faith in Our Lord.

The Christmas season and the dawn of a new year can be a beautiful time of renewed hope, a time when we can put aside the anxieties and pressures of the world as we make time for family, friends and our faith. During this joyous season, my prayer is that you are able to take some time away from the noise of the year gone by and cultivate the irrepressible hope and joy that the coming of the Christ Child always brings. My prayers go out to you and your families for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2022.

God bless you!

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