The Year of Grace which opened in Australian Dioceses on Pentecost Sunday and which runs through until Pentecost next year, is given to the Church in Australia to lead her to a deeper encounter with Jesus.
The word grace, which we use so often, means the gift of sharing in God's life. Grace then, is the person of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, whom the Father and Jesus have sent to us.
In many parts of the world today Jesus is marginalised, people have heard about him and think that this is the time for us all to move on from the Jesus 'story'. The radical truth is that Jesus as both God and man reveals to us now the love of God!
Again in many corners, following Jesus is thought of as a whole series of rules and regulations which must be observed. The reality is very different; following Jesus means living in freedom and truth!
Today many still prefer the opinion that God is either dead or never existed. The fact is that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive in His Church, living and working today in His followers!
Another contemporary opinion is that to believe means to live in fear of a watchful and judgemental God. The extraordinary truth is that Jesus is full of merciful love and leads his followers into the fullness of life!
Again, many still claim that the Gospel is a purely human text, secretly invented. The real secret is that the Gospel is inspired by the Holy Spirit and introduces human beings into the life of God!
This is grace - the person of Jesus who is proclaimed by the Church and who wants us all to know Him.