Tidings of great joy

Guest editorial by Fr. Ron MacDonell, SFM

We all like to get good news. When we answer the phone or read an email, joyful news makes us come alive. We feel uplifted and desire to share the news with others. This is what happened more than 2,000 years ago when the shepherds received the “tidings of great joy” from the angel of God who told them that Jesus the Christ was born. They hurried off to Bethlehem and discovered the child Jesus cradled in the arms of Mary, under the protection of Joseph. They fell on their knees in adoration and repeated the news of the angel to the astonishment of all.

The shepherds were the first missionaries. Sent by the angel of God, they sought out Jesus. The newborn was the Son of God, proclaimed the message of God’s angel. We are called to be like the shepherds, first to listen to the angels who speak in our hearts of God’s presence, second to seek out Jesus, and third to announce to others this amazing Good News: God is in our midst through the person of Jesus.

Scarboro Missions is pleased to present this Vocations issue with stories of missionary witness. All are called to be missionaries in our own families, communities, and parishes. We are called to be missionaries here in Canada, announcing God’s invitation to create a just and peaceful society, to build interreligious dialogue and to honour the diversity of cultures. Some of us are called to be missionaries overseas, learning from our sisters and brothers, especially those who suffer poverty and persecution, and standing beside them in projects of solidarity. 

In this Advent season, we prepare ourselves for celebrating the birth of the Lord at Christmas by prayer and reflection. Let us remember the shepherds. Let us imitate them by bearing the “tidings of great joy” to those around us, announcing that Jesus was born to be our hope, our salvation and our love. 

“They made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.” (Luke 2:17)∞