The year 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. With this in mind and following on from World Youth Day ’08 as well as the canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the Australian Bishops felt that there was a need to be open to a new and deep grace, to forge the future.
The ‘Year of Grace’, to be formally announced on the feast of Christ the King (20th November 2011), is a summons to the whole Australian Church to undertake a spiritual journey for a year. Something like a retreat or an ‘Abrahamic’ call, it is a summons to set out on a journey of faith not knowing the destination, result or outcome.
The concept is inspired and based upon Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic letter ‘Novo Millennio Ineuente’ in which he challenges the Church to “contemplate the face of Christ ”, to “start afresh from Christ.”
An underlying question throughout the year in regard to activities of the Church at all levels especially the ‘domestic church’ would be “What has this got to do with Jesus?”
The Year of Grace is to have three major themes
1) building a spirituality of communion
2) contemplating the face of Christ and
3) undertaking mission for the new evangelisation.
It is expected it will encourage and include
a) listening to the Word of God – becoming a more biblical church
b)experiences of remembering – becoming more aware of God’s grace acting in our daily lives and
c) a focus ‘encountering and responding to Jesus’ in our daily life – Contemplating the Face of Christ.
The Year of Grace is more about an experience of Jesus, rather than knowing more about Him. It is to have a focus on being rather than doing and its key is one of relationship – encountering Jesus and the call to conversion, listening to the Spirit.
May our prayer be that this will prove a great success for the Church, the Body of Christ, here in Australia and lead us joyfully and with confidence into the future.
Deacon C Wallace
Coordinator for the Year of Grace.