The Christmas Heart

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The Christmas Heart

"He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree."
- Author Unknown.

The universal theme for Christmas is peace, the gift that Jesus gave the Apostles when he said to them, "Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you." John 14:27. Peace is a gift that resides in the heart - not under the tree. So how is it that after a quick look around the world, courtesy of the 24 hour news cycle, there seems to be many hearts that are without peace? Could it be that these hearts don't have room for the peace that Jesus has to offer? At this time of the year, in a moment of quiet reflection, perhaps one should ask do I own one of these hearts? Or perhaps I can see some of myself reflected in the following responses to the ‘Baby Jesus’.

The inn-keeper of Bethlehem found no room for Jesus.
In the same manner Jesus is standing at the door of many who do not invite him in. Perhaps the inn-keeper can be excused because of ignorance.

King Herod didn't want anyone to challenge his throne.
People miss out on Jesus because they fear the challenge that Jesus presents to them in order to gain his peace.

The Jewish leaders knew the Scriptures and Prophecies by heart but had no desire to accept Jesus.
They were not ignorant, they were unwilling.

The ‘Christmas heart’ is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of Jesus was an event of great significance because it poured into a ‘sick’ world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for 2000 years. It is Jesus' influence in our lives that stirs within us more kindness, more respect, more love, more concern. It is because of Him and His teaching that even in our most difficult of times, both professionally and personally, we are motivated to reach out to those in trouble, distress and need, wherever they may be.

When Jesus was born, a new power entered the stream of history, the power of love and spiritual transformation. That power for good is waiting in each of us. It has revealed itself to us. It is waiting for our response, perhaps renewed response. So where will the reality of Christmas be this year - in our heart or under the tree?

I would like to again acknowledge the significance of our Catholic schools and colleges as an important part of the mission of the Church. As Church we can be seen as a sign and instrument of Jesus Christ (a Sacrament) so too are our schools as they proceed from the very heart of Church. We celebrate Christ with us and again bring to mind the importance of our ministry through what we do and who we are.

On behalf of the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office, I wanted to convey our deep appreciation for their ministry as Catholic educators throughout 2015.

Every blessing and much appreciation for all that has been shared and accomplished during this year. May this final week of our formal year be safe and peaceful.

Christmas greetings and every blessing from all within the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office.

By John Mula, Director of the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office