“Oh Holy night, the stars are brightly shining.” I greet you all with the fervent prayer that Christ will be born in every heart and every family in our nation. Indeed, I pray, that the stars shine brightly in the night of our experiences especially this Christmas Season.
Do you know that Christmas is the celebration of God becoming human so that he could extend His tremendous Love across the world? This may sound like fake news, but it is the wonderful truth of Christmas. God’s love is among us and in us, especially at Christmas. It is Good News; it is the best news ever. Yes, Christmas is the birthday of love itself; it is the birthday of the only begotten Son of God who comes among us so that we could have life and have it to the fullest. (John 10:10).
As I take my leave as the third bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown in Barbados, I do so in gratitude to God, the Catholic Church and the people of Barbados for giving me the challenging and fulfilling opportunity to minister and love the people of this land of ours, Barbados. My experience over the past six years has been most enriching. I leave with mixed feelings – I have been able to journey with all of you, and just as we are poised to move forward to become the church, the people and nation God is calling us to be, God has asked me to return to Trinidad and Tobago as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain. However, ministering in Barbados has been most fruitful and I go to my next assignment a richer person because of the experiences of the past six years.
The New Year will be a challenging one. It is a year when people may face personal and economic hard times. While you may have to make some personal sacrifices, I ask that you remember the vulnerable persons in our society – see the face of God in each of them and help them where you can. 2018 is also an election year when the population will select a Government to lead the nation for a five year term. I pray that you put your faith in God and allow Him to be your guide.
At this time, God became human in the family of Mary and Joseph, The Holy Family. This is an expression of His Love. It is through the family that we encounter the Love that God pours out to us. Indeed, the Holy Family is an inspiration to all families and a model of Love, sharing and sacrifice.
I pray that you and your family spend quality time together and have a peaceful and joyful Christmas. I further pray that this Season will bring to each of you many special Christmas blessings.
‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come.’
Rev Charles Jason Gordon
Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Bridgetown