The greater part of my time as Bishop is shared with people - my pastoral family- priests,  religious and parishioners-, family gatherings, catching up with friends and, at times, in contact with total strangers. There are joyful times and there are sad moments.  Reflecting on all of these events and praying about them, one thing that comes through most of all is that Jesus is present in all these happenings.

In the happy times, Christ was there in the very real way, showing the goodness and closeness of God In the sad times, Jesus, at first glance, could have seemed to be absent.  Here also there were real signs that He was close, loving and offering the strength of His unfailing support.

Jesus' name means Saviour.  He saves us in so many ways.  Sometimes He saves us from things.  At other times it is in and through the very things that we continue to experience that He saves us.

For example, Jesus saves us from sin, whether it be personal or collective.  He saves us from such things as fear, anxiety, anger and resentment which cripple us and impede us from being free to serve God better and love each other more truly.  He certainly saves us from death.  While it comes to us all, it certainly is not the last word.  It is conquered by Jesus death and resurrection.  Some  things don't change though, for example, illness, disability, broken relationships and grief to name a few. Where can Jesus save us here? While He may not save us from these things, He is able to save us in and through what is happening.  In these situations, He is with us and truly offers us His peace and courage.  Above all, He shares His wonderful spirit who, in turn, gives an inner strength and freedom to people who may be in what we call 'impossible' situations.

Yes, as we read in the letter to the Hebrews, "Jesus power to save is utterly certain".  Jesus' life was one of joys, sorrows and triumphs.  His mother Mary shared very closely in these times.  When we go through such times in our lives, Jesus is with us and shares our joys, sorrows and triumphs.

I believe it is important to reflect on the joyful, sad and glorious times of Jesus' life and to become more familiar with him and these occasions.  Jesus and each aspect of His life has much to say to all of us at stages and in each circumstance of our lives.

Each Liturgical Year the Church helps us reflect on and experience the joyful, sorrowful and glorious aspects of our Saviour's life.  It is important for us to do this also in our own quiet time. Some use the rosary through out the year to do it.

As we reflect on and pray about Jesus life in the course of the year, Jesus speaks to us and gives us more meaning to the joyful, sad and special times we, others and our world experiences.

Bishop Justin Bianchini