Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace and well-being to all of you!
Once again, as we do every year, today we begin our celebration of Christmas, the moment when God, out of love for us, took human form to be closer to us. He was born in a humble place, surrounded by animals and shepherds, but with a great mission to lead us to salvation in His love. He is Emmanuel, the God with us and within us. We will give and receive many gifts today in our homes and communities. Let us remember that the gift of the Lord Jesus is the greatest of all gifts. No need to wrap it or put a bow on it, His love will always shine before us if we allow it, and that’s Christmas.
As we enjoy the traditions of the Christmas season - exchanging gifts, enjoying meals and parties – let us remember to reserve some time to pray and reflect on the real meaning of this beautiful time? If we do, our hearts will be filled with a great sense of gratitude and joy. Let us let the love of God fill our hearts and sharpen our minds so that we may be able to live united and with humility.
The story of our Lord’s birth at Christmas also offers us continuing encouragement to recognize the poor, the modest, the meek and the voiceless. Just a Jesus was born in a setting of poverty, we know that we can find Him today in those same places, in the faces of the homeless and the sick, the marginalized and the immigrant. In that spirit, let us give the gift of our care and compassion, our words and acts of charity on behalf those brothers and sisters among us who are most in need.
I pray that the Season of Christmas will be a time of joy and rest for you and for your loved ones. I pray that you will be blessed with good health and remain safe throughout the busyness of this time. Most of all I pray that you grow closer to God in these days, joining with your community at Mass and partaking in the holy Eucharist, and bringing the love and light of Christ to those who live in darkness and without hope.
Together in prayer, we look forward in faith and hope to what God has in store for us in the coming year 2023.
Merry Christmas and many blessings to you! — Bishop Alberto Rojas