Have you noticed how new words begin to be used by a few people and then, all of a sudden, they are being used more widely as if they had always been there? One such word is connectivity. Once you get your tongue round it, you find that connectivity is less cumbersome than it seemed at first, easier to say than making or maintaining connections. Its very length gives a word picture of both, of making and maintaining connections.
The certainties which seemed to be here to stay and which have for so long set the pace in our world, look less certain in Christmas 2009. Economic downturn and quantitative easing are elegant euphemisms which fool nobody whose life is concerned with making ends meet, both for themselves and for their families. If it once seemed that today could not be over fast enough to make way for tomorrow, we may now have to slow down. We may have to allow memory offer some tent-pegs of perspective in a storm-tossed world. As we enter a new decade of the twenty-first century, we face a new year and a new time-frame which will ask of us a new word, a new word with an old message..........connectivity.
Connectivity, you may ask, with what? First and foremost – and always – with justice. The catalogue is rather long : fiscal probity, environmental responsibility, the poor people of the world, whether remembered or forgotten, human beings diminished, dispossessed and disregarded, victims and survivors of abuse, particularly the children of yesterday who are the crushed adults of today, both in Ireland and elsewhere. Connectivity, if it is to respond to the standards of justice, needs to engage with hard reality. It needs to bring back together saying and doing, promise and action, word and deed.
However hopeless our state of misery, however profound the depth of our scepticism, however powerful the conviction of our distrust, connectivity asks of us at Christmas that we go in faith to Bethlehem. Justice lives in the person of Jesus Christ and every year at Christmas we are given the opportunity to enter into a trustful relationship with other people through Jesus. We are invited to make right what is wrong. We are introduced to the connectivity between justice and innocence in ways that seem impossible for those of us with complicated and compromised lives. We are made welcome by the one who will see us through our troubles.
‘ The birth of Jesus Christ took place like this ....’ says Matthew. Let us be born again in justice and in hope this Christmas.

+Michael Jackson
+Joseph Duffy