God is inviting us to see the world and people through His eyes, says Archbishop Costelloe
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB places the statue of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene during midnight Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on 25 December 2020. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Jamie O’Brien
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has spoken of the people who are looking for hope and for some sense of comfort and security in the midst of so much uncertainty.
In celebrating the Christmas Eve midnight Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on December 25 2020, Archbishop Costelloe was joined by Cathedral Dean, Fr Sean Fernandez, Cathedral Assistant Priests Fr Richard Rutkauskas, Fr CJ Millen, Fr Garner Vergara, St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church Administrator Fr Ihor Holovko, former Cathedral Dean Mgr Michael Keating, and assisted by Deacon Aaron Peters.
With COVID-19 restrictions still currently in place, each Mass was restricted to a maximum of 660 people, with each Mass at capacity.
“The Christmas story, as always, invites us to turn our eyes to the Christmas crib and we do so this year acutely conscious of our need for peace and for hope,” Archbishop Costelloe continued.
Speaking about the shepherds who visited the newborn Christ, Archbishop Costelloe noted that, while they were tough, uneducated men who lived out in the open in difficult conditions, it was these people whom God chose to be the first to hear the good news of the birth of the saviour, the Son of God.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has spoken of the people are looking for hope and for some sense of comfort and security in the midst of so much uncertainty. Photo: Ron Tan.
“Perhaps God wants to remind us, through this choice, that our way of seeing people and judging people is very different to God’s way.
Archbishop Costelloe continued by saying that the people we might look down on and regard as unimportant or even untrustworthy, are the very people whom God seems to favour in a special way.
“This Christmas God is inviting us to see the world and people through his eyes rather than our own and to honour and respect people, not because of what they own or what they have achieved, but rather because of what lies in their hearts,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us to do this.”
Archbishop Costelloe also spoke about the role of the Virgin Mary in reflecting on the Christmas crib.
Cathedral Dean Fr Sean Fernandez stands with an altar server during Mass for Christmas Day on 25 December 2020. Photo: Ron Tan.
“She was able to say yes to all that God was asking of her and the fidelity she showed at the start of the gospel story never faltered,” Archbishop Costelloe explained.
“Perhaps the secret of Mary’s fidelity lies in a simple statement which St Luke makes about her in his Gospel: Mary treasured everything that happened to her and pondered over it in her heart. Mary didn’t just let things happen to her.
“She reflected and pondered and prayed over everything and so came to understand more and more the mysterious way in which God was working in her life.
“In this year of Covid-19 perhaps we, too, are being invited to look deeply into all that has happened to us in order to discover what God might be asking of us.”
Crowds listen to Archbishop Costelloe give his homily during midnight Mass for Christmas 2020. The Cathedral was limited to 660 people per Mass. Photo: Ron Tan.