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The Coming of Christ

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 Contents - Dec 2014AD2000 December 2014 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The Coming of Christ - Peter Westmore
Family Synod: Synod reaffirms Church teaching on marriage and family - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Dissent: New controversy erupts in Toowoomba - Peter Westmore
Vocations: Young Men of God Retreat for 2014 another success - Br Barry Coldrey
The Long View: Catholicism today and the lessons of history - John Young
Economic justice: The Catholic Church explains sexual mores - with economics - Emma Green
Cardinal Pell: Synod rebuts 'secular agenda' - Catholic News Service
The after-life: Why pray for those who are no longer with us? - Audrey English
Separation of church and state: the position outside Australia - Frank Mobbs
Obituary: Fr Benedict Groeschel, aged 81, dies in New Jersey - Peter Westmore
Letters: Toowoomba trouble - Tristan Ross
Letters: Synod of Bishops - Arnold Jago
Letters: Language - Frank O'Connor
Letters: Last man standing! - Anne Lastman
Books: IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE SPIRIT: Guide to the Sacraments in the Byzantine Church - Paul Simmons (reviewer)
Books: AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC YOUTH MINISTRY, by C. Fini and C. Ryan (Eds) - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Support: 2014 Fighting Fund Progress
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light - Pope Francis

As the Christian world prepares to commemorate the coming of Jesus Christ, the long-promised Messiah who was to set his people free, we look on the commercialisation of Christmas with decidedly mixed feelings.

On one hand, reducing the incredible events which took place just over 2,000 years ago to an excuse for parties and drinking, or even an exchange of gifts with loved ones, has undoubtedly led to a trivialisation of the extraordinary events we commemorate.

On the other, even at its most deformed, it is a recognition by the secular society that something beyond the material has entered our world, and that the spirit of peace and goodwill towards men which the angels proclaimed on that first Christmas Day should prevail, even as we recall the terrible events in the Middle East, Ukraine, North Korea and parts of Africa over the past twelve months.

Christians have the best of both worlds. We are able to participate in the festivities while seeing the deeper significance of the birth of Christ not just for believers but for all people in the promise that a fallen world can be renewed by men and women of good will who put into practice the almost impossibly difficult teachings of Jesus Christ, to see him in the weakest and most vulnerable human beings, to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies and pray for those who want to harm us, and his other teachings.

What makes this possible for Christians is that Jesus not only gave us moral precepts to follow, but founded the Church as the instrument by which his message could be transmitted through time to all cultures, civilisations and societies.

Despite the human weakness of its members, the Church is his chosen instrument for making his name known and loved throughout the world, and the instrument by which we can hope to live forever with him in eternal happiness. We must respect and nurture it, just as we revere, love and worship its founder, Jesus Christ.

-Peter Westmore is the Publisher of AD2000.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 27 No 11 (December 2014 - January 2015), p. 2

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