Pastoral Letter to be read in all churches and chapels of the Archdiocese of Liverpool on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Sunday 1 January 2012.
My dear People,
‘May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.’
And the Lord will so bless you:
For the fullness of time has already come.
God has sent his Son to be one with us and to take on himself all our sins; the Son of God has redeemed us, he has set us free from all that blocks our way to life in abundance. For in truth, on this, the 8th day after his birth, Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, Saviour; Saviour of the world.
And God has already sent the spirit of his Son into our heart, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’
We are already children of God: it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes purifies himself as God is pure.’
And especially I ask you to join in the gratitude I always feel on New Year’s Day to Pope Paul VI in whose days New Year’s Day became Mary’s, Mother of the Lord.
He saw: the secret of each New Year’s prosperity, health, well-being of body, mind, spirit, depends on those who are like Mary; and Mary ‘treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.’
2012 needs silence, prayer, contemplation, lowliness of heart.
The year is safely entrusted to us who are at Mass today.
Archbishop of Liverpool