Merry Christmas, beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ!
As we embark on this most blessed day, I'd like to share a brief summation of the homily delivered so eloquently tonight at our 6PM service by a visiting Cardinal Emeritus. He addressed the three traditions many families keep on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: The tree, the meal, the Mass.
The tree: Let us remember that the gifts we look forward to receiving from under the tree this year, however special or significant, are simply a representation of the Greatest Gift given for us some 2013 years ago...the gift of Jesus, our Savior being born to save all people.
The meal: As we savor the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the meal or dishes we enjoy each year, let us also remember our hunger for Him; our hunger for the Word; and our ability to help those people who haven't a meal to eat.
The Mass (or whatever service your denomination celebrates): Let us remember that it is in this sacred space that we are given -- over and over and over and over -- the gift of Jesus Christ. And it is also in this holy place that we eat of His body and drink of His blood, the First Meal, the very special reminders of His sacrifice in being born an innocent babe...living human, the good and the bad, the joy and the pain, all to cover our lives in grace.
May the blessings of this holy day and season continue to be rained upon you as we enter the New Year. I will be praying for each of you as my family celebrates together.
May we endeavor to be Christ's peace alive in the world.