Inspired by Christian faith, Centacare’s vision is for a community that promotes dignity, equality and participation of its citizens. A community in which there is recognition of individual and social rights and responsibilities, where each person is supported to reach their full potential.

In 2015 we celebrated 20 years of service in our community with Centacare.

Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (1: 1-17) in which the generations from Abraham to David, from David to the Babylonian deportation, and from the Babylonian deportation to Christ are recounted.

Fr Paul continues to read from the ‘Heart of the Disciple’* resource for our daily reflections which asks us to consider the following:

Matthew reveals to us, through the genealogy of Jesus, God’s plan for salvation – the plan of a new creation that God promised and realised through Jesus Christ. This genealogy reveals that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s anointed King, and the one who brings hope to people.

The hope offered to us, even when the world at times seems dark, is provided particularly to the weary and poor in spirit. Only God can offer true hope, for God alone can bring light and purpose to situations that appear beyond our comprehension or ability to rectify.

At the beginning of his account of the good news, Matthew points to Jesus as the one in whom the promises made to David and passed on from generation to generation are fulfilled. By reminding us of the list of Jesus’ ancestors, Matthew is teaching us that God is faithful – even when, at times, it can be challenging to recognise. While contemplating this list of ancestors, some of whom were deeply flawed individuals, we see that God can work through any situation, even when things appear to be hopeless.

God’s purposes cannot be thwarted. Jesus comes to us with the offer to turn every failing and misdeed into good. God can use our faults and failings for divine purpose, if we but humbly hand them over to him. In a world full of trouble, conflict and strife, it is through the birth of a child in a humble and cold stable that hope shines; we hope for something better and God gives us this hope. It is hope in Jesus Christ.

Today we are especially called to open our hearts to the coming of the Lord, the light of Jesus Christ. He is the one who brings hope into this broken world, and he shows us the way to live life and how to live that life to the full.

For our reflection and discussion, Fr Paul invites us to consider, Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa when showing us how God can use our faults and trials for good: “Yes I have many human faults and failures …, But God bends down and uses us, you and me, to be his love and his compassion in the world; he bears our sins, our trouble and our faults. He depends on us to love the world and to show how much he loves it” (GE, 107). How will I respond to this today?

And together we pray:

God of love and mercy,
bend down to me this day to enable me to be your love and compassion in the world.
Through me, may everyone know how much you love us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Excerpt from ‘Heart of a Disciple’ produced by Evangelisation Brisbane,