Monday, December 24, 2007

Text of the Governor-General's Christmas Speech

Today we recall and celebrate a unique and wondrous mystery!

Our ears resound to the songs of Joy, the shepherds' song, the angels' hymns of praise and the sound of a virgin mother's lullaby.

He who is above now for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy.

Two thousand years ago the 'kings of the East' came and they saw the heavenly King that had come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominations, nor powers, nor principalities, but treading a new and solitary path. He has come forth from a spotless womb. He did not come to force us unto Him, but to call us with a sorrowful heart, full of love and tender compassion.

Much has changed since Our Lord first in the flesh appeared among us. But far too many things have remained the same.

Far too many still live under repressive governments, governments that forget that they are to serve as Ministers of God. My heart goes out especially to those in Burma, for whom the yoke of Caesar would seem light.

There remain yet those for whom 'Peace on Earth' is a promise not yet fulfilled. Far too many people live with violence. Not only those engaged in broad and open conflicts like those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan, but also those who face crimes of violence in their own cities and towns, and more shameful still those who face it alone where they should be safe, in their own homes.

Wise men today seek to bring peace and good governance to the world. We cannot afford to forget that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that the Government shall be upon His shoulders. Government must be based on respect for the dignity and worth of the persons for whom Christ died, and on the understanding that we who are called to minister and serve will be judged by the King of the Universe.

It is the duty of each of us who claim the Name of Christ to be guides for those who do not know the Son of God. Let us not forget that when the Wise Men, be they Magi or Kings, came to Jerusalem in search of Him who was born King of the Jews they were given guidance by those who knew the prophecies.

The wise men of Jerusalem did not condemn those who sought the Babe, nor did they inquire as to the 'religious upbringing' or 'nation of origin' of those who came seeking Him. They honoured the search and helped them on their journey. It is not our duty to change those around us. It is our duty to guide them to Him who can change everything.

I call upon my fellow Christians to remember why Our Lord came, and what He has called us to do. Pray for Peace between God and man, and between men.

Show yourself to be a loving guide, assist those in need, and in so doing share the real meaning of Christmas.

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