Refugee treatment at heart of our humanity

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660404-anglican1.jpgMass at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. Picture: James Elsby Source: The Advertiser
IF OUR Lord had wanted to, he could have come into the world demonstrating his power and authority.
And yet he came as a helpless little child born in Bethlehem.
The reason why is he wants us to love him, not to be overpowered by him. His message at Christmas is that Gods love has come to the world through him and there is a new beginning for everyone and we are meant to be the agents of that new beginning by the way we live our lives and the commitment we give to love God and love our neighbour.
So in the midst of this world where there is so much to frighten us and so much to worry about, Christmas reassures us that Jesus is present and that his love for us is sufficient to give us the strength to be agents of love as we live in the world.
This Christmas is also a time for us to pray that Christians everywhere around the world can celebrate in peace, especially the Christians in Iraq who have suffered horrendously through the attack on the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad and subsequent bombings.
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As well as praying for their safety and that they may be blessed with the peace of Christmas, it is also a reminder to us that the work of peacemaking is incomplete and that we have to do all that we can to be peacemakers in the dimensions of our own personal life.
The feast of Christmas is an opportunity to not only wish people well but to do everything we can to support one another in peace, especially the members of our community who are hurting or who are marginalised.
Our hearts go out to the victims and families of the recent tragedy in the stormy seas off Christmas Island. Just as the holy family of Nazareth was forced to seek refuge in a stable in Bethlehem, so these people were escaping dire circumstances and taking huge risks to give them and their children a better life.
I urge you to keep in mind this Christmas that the way we treat asylum seekers, both as a society and as individuals, strikes at the essence of our humanity.
Philip Wilson is the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide.