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In his 2019 Christmas Message, Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton speaks about the image of The Adoration of the Magi, by Giacomo Cavedoni.

A task that falls to me as we come to the end of the year is to select an image for the Christmas card I send to family and friends.

This year I chose the painting of the Adoration of the Magi by Giacomo Cavedoni (1577-1660). It is displayed in the Chiesa di San Paolo in Bologna, Italy. It appealed to me because of the action of the Wise Man who while presenting his gift to the Infant Jesus, kneels and appears to kiss the foot of the Saviour.


The Adoration of the Magi by Giacomo Cavedoni (1577-1660). Photo: Sourced.

The act of offering the gift is overshadowed by an act of humility. The Wise Man recognises that he is in the presence of one greater than any king or earthly power. He kneels to worship the One who is at once human and divine.

The painting of the Adoration leads us to contemplate the great mystery of Christmas. The mystery of Christmas is the demonstration of the immense love the Father has for humanity and all of creation. Because of that love, God our Father has sent the Son to redeem humanity and offer the way to salvation to each person.

It is this that Christmas Day celebrates. We celebrate the birth of our Saviour with our brothers and sisters in the faith around the Table of the Lord at Mass, where we are offered gifts of peace and hope to strengthen our hearts.

We will celebrate Christmas, as well, around another table, along with those we cherish in our lives. If we are fortunate, it will be family that we will join. Friends may invite us to join them and their family at their table.

Regardless of where that table may be, Christ will be in our midst, and if we remember this, the time together will be one of true joy and blessing. When we realise that Christ is with us and who he is, we should not be surprised to experience peace and a special communion among us.

I believe that this is another reason to celebrate Christmas which is often the last time in every year when as family and friends we meet together. There is the opportunity for celebrating the joys and persevering strength we may have experienced in the year. The difficulties and trials will also come to mind. But overall, I hope that each of us will have grateful hearts for having received the gift of faith that has brought us through everything.

Like the Wise Man, may we have the humility to acknowledge our need of a saviour and the wisdom to know that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. May we fix our gaze on Jesus and listen to him.

I pray for bountiful blessings as you celebrate the birth of the Saviour. May you enjoy this time together, and the peace of Christ be with you all.