Fr. Steve’s Column 12-24-23

Merry Christmas!  As we celebrate the Incarnation of Our Lord, born as a tiny infant this Christmas Day, I’ll share with you an excerpt from Pope Francis’ Christmas message from the past year (https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/urbi/documents/20221225-urbi-et-orbi-natale.html#:~:text=Let%20us%20leave%20behind%20the,of%20the%20Prince%20of%20Peace.)  Peace and joy to all of you on this most holy day. 


May the Lord Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, bring to all of you the love of God, wellspring of confidence and hope, together with the gift of the peace proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those whom he favours” (Lk 2:14).


On this festive day, we turn our gaze to Bethlehem. The Lord comes to the world in a stable and is laid in a manger for animals, since his parents could find no room in the inn, even though the time had come for Mary to give birth. He comes among us in silence and in the dark of night, because the word of God needs no spotlights or loud human voices. He is himself the Word that gives life its meaning, he is the Light that brightens our path. “The true light, which enlightens everyone” – the Gospel tells us – “was coming into the world” (Jn 1:9).


Jesus is born in our midst; he is God with us. He comes to accompany our daily lives, to share with us in all things: our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears. He comes as a helpless child. He is born in the cold night, poor among the poor. In need of everything, he knocks at the door of our heart to find warmth and shelter.


Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, surrounded by light, may we set out to see the sign that God has given us. May we overcome our spiritual drowsiness and the shallow holiday glitter that makes us forget the One whose birth we are celebrating. Let us leave behind the hue and din that deadens our hearts and makes us spend more time in preparing decorations and gifts than in contemplating the great event: the Son of God born for us.


…If we want it to be Christmas, the Birth of Jesus and of peace, let us look to Bethlehem and contemplate the face of the Child who is born for us! And in that small and innocent face, let us see the faces of all those children who, everywhere in the world, long for peace.


Merry Christmas to all of you!

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