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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,

Merry Christmas to all of you, your families, and friends! Once again, we have come to this beautiful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the day when Heaven and Earth joined together again in an eternal embrace. The story of Our Lord Jesus’ arrival is familiar to all of us and yet it never fails to inspire joy and gratitude when we stop to contemplate that God sent us His only begotten Son to live among us so that we may have salvation and new life in Him. He is Emmanuel: God with us, indeed!

The birth of Jesus is an amazing gift from God to humanity; it’s a story of faith and hope, a story of compassionate and unconditional love. We know that he was born in the most modest circumstances, in a time of peril and hardship in his community. There was no reason to think that this child, born among the animals of a stable, would offer so much to the world. Yet, God always surprises us with his goodness.

Some of us might feel that same sense of hopelessness sometimes, especially now when violence and hatred continue to destroy human life in the Holy Land and in many other parts of the world. We might feel at times that the light of the world couldn’t possibly shine in our life. But please, let us remember the Christmas story in this way, God has always been with us; He is always coming, and will spare nothing to lead us to salvation and reconciliation with Him and one another. After all, He gave us the most precious Gift that we will ever receive in His Son Jesus, and this is the Gift the world needs to be willing to receive.

Christmas is the beginning of the story of God’s love for us in the person of Jesus; it is a joyful time and a season to enjoy festivities and time with family and friends. This is an important way for us to connect with each other and strengthen our bonds of love and community. Let us take a time to contemplate the birth of Jesus among us. Have we welcomed God’s love in our hearts fully? This Christmas, I invite you to recognize each other for what we really are, as children of God! I offer you my deepest prayers to all of you for a blessed and peaceful Christmas Season and a prosperous New Year 2024. Feliz Navidad!

In Christ’s tender love,
Bishop Rojas