My Dear People,
We have celebrated the end of 2019, and ushered in 2020.
2019 has been a very eventful year for Gibraltar, with elections taking place here, in England and in Spain, all of which will have a bearing on us as a people. The prospects of 2020 are no less daunting, with very important issues coming to a head and praying that things go well for the good of all of us.
In the liturgical calendar of the Church, the first day of the New Year is dedicated to the Solemnity of the Mother of God, which commemorates Mary’s role in the mystery of salvation.
The feast of Mary, the Mother of God, underscores that her son, Jesus, is one person, truly God and truly Man. In Jesus, God has assumed our humanity. He knows our pains and struggles and temptations. He is the throne of mercy to which we can turn as He is our Leader in salvation.
Hence, the ushering of the New Year should not just be focused on merriment and festivity, but as Catholics, the New Year should be rich with spiritual meaning for us; one that gives us much gratitude and thankfulness for the past, hope and courage to face the future ahead. We face the future not alone but with Jesus and the assistance of our Blessed Mother
Today, we also mark the World Day of Peace. Faith in Jesus as the Good News, the light of humanity is also the guarantee to world peace in this troubled and divisive world. He is the source of peace. Unless we are reconciled with God, we cannot find peace within us. The source of division lies in the divided and selfish hearts of humanity.
May Jesus be our future. Let Him be the center of our lives and our relationships. Let us ground our faith and life in Jesus and on the Word of God as the path to truth, love and life. Let us also do our part for a peaceful tomorrow by righting our relationships through love, patience and dialogue.
May Mary, the Mother of God, inspire us to a deeper faith and humility. May we learn to be discerning and contemplative in prayer as we seek to be instruments and channels of unity and peace in the world, beginning in our family, in the workplace and society.
I wish you a Blessed 2020, and pray that God will always be our rock and our salvation.
Bishop of Gibraltar