Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal: 'Called to be a Sacrament of the World'

In his homily on Christmas Eve, Cardinal Vincent welcomed those attending Midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral to the 'great gathering of people,' saying 'it is good to know that we belong' and that 'gathered from all over the world, we have these bonds of faith holding us together'.

Gathered to celebrate 'the birth of a child, in the poorest of circumstances, in a faraway time and place,' he called it a 'simple yet immensely powerful' event, 'a birth which breaks open for us a new understanding of who we are and how we are to live.'

Those present at the celebration of the Nativity are 'called to carry everyone in our hearts, those who do not yet know the wonder of God, and those who are too busy to bother.'

As the Body of Christ, everyone in the Church is 'called to be a Sacrament of the World,' to 'be a place, a time an occasion, in which the loveliness of God touches our world and brings it new hope.'

'That is who we are to be, today, in our world, in this society: a people with no ambition except to do good,' he said.

He reiterated his message that, 'after so much bitter political discourse and division,' we 'are to look one another in the eye and see there all that is good,' affirming that 'the source of that good in every person we meet is, of course, the life of God, a divine goodness, which shows itself fully in Christ Jesus.'

As the Sacrament of the World, the task of the People of God is 'to show to others the way of finding the goodness of God in every person, in every place. And we show the way by doing it ourselves.'

'Only then will our society become a place in which no one is afraid and all sense a welcome. This is the fresh start we need.'

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