Sunday, December 24, 2017

Archbishop Aymond sends Christmas greetings

The baby Jesus: The human face of God

December 25, 2017

A very blessed Christmas to you!
In the quiet of the night, a virgin gave birth to a baby, in a stable, because they could find no place in the inn. Her husband, Joseph, was there.
No fanfare, a dirty stable.
And there was born the Messiah of the world, in poverty, in quiet.
This Messiah has become for us the human face of God, the human hands of God, the human voice of God, the human ears of God. And he lived among us.
Today we celebrate his birthday and we remember that great gift that the Father has given to us by giving us his only begotten Son to be one of us.
Yes, God became one of us, and that is the mystery we celebrate today with so much joy.
We also remember that it was on this night, as the Scriptures tell us, that the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to all those of good will. Peace!”
This Messiah – the Lord Jesus – even as a child came to bring peace to a broken world and to a world that is often at war.
If we truly believe in this Christ – and if we really want to be his brother or sister, his disciple – we will be the good people who are striving toward peace. Peace can come upon us as we show charity and good will to others.
You and I know that our world is in great need of peace. First of all, we need peace in our own hearts, which are sometimes troubled. We often need peace in our families because of a rift that has taken place, or a lack of forgiveness or something that has hurt us very deeply. We need to bring peace.
We know that in our own archdiocese, there continues to be violence and murder and racism, which tears apart our community.
We need peace. In our world, there are wars and rumors of war.
We also have another kind of warfare taking place today – the warfare where people use words to hurt others. Unfiltered thoughts slice hearts. We are to be peacemakers.
So, on this feast of Christmas, we not only ask for God’s peace in our hearts and in our families, but we also make a pledge that with this Christ, the Messiah, we will do our best to be peacemakers. Even in the midst of some family gatherings that may be tense, even in the midst of working with people at the office or on the job or at school who might be difficult, we can show that there is a Christ, that there is a Messiah who has come to bring peace, by our words, by our attitudes, by the way in which we love others.
What a great gift we can give at Christmas to another person to remind them that it is this Christ who lives within them. It is this Christ who calls us to be a people of peace.

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