Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The events that we commemorate at Christmas still powerfully resonate with us after more than two thousand years.
❖ It is the story of a Birth that came about under mysterious and miraculous circumstances.
❖ It is a tale of hopes and dreams, of promises kept, and of quiet faithfulness.
❖ It is about journeys of discovery and escape, of pilgrimage and a young family’s flight to safety.
❖ It is, above all a story of boundless love.
Christmas is the story of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, of angels, shepherds, magi and the flight into Egypt – a tale of such great love for humanity that God would restore the original unity of Creation through the Birth of Jesus Christ. When the Word became flesh, “heaven is wedded to earth and humanity is reconciled to God” (Saint John Paul II).
Today, the story of Christmas is retraced in the life of our world. In coming to worship the Lord, many Christians risk safety, even their very lives. In the harrowing journeys of migrants across the borders of nations – and even into our own country – the flight of the Holy Family becomes real once more.
The insecurity, suffering and death that so many refugees experience cannot go without our care and our attention. Truly, Jesus, the Word made flesh, is present in all who walk their treacherous paths.
This Christmas, we must renew our bond with all men and women of good will, trusting in the Lord who gave us everything in the gift of Jesus. May we in turn offer ourselves in this same love.
I pledge to you and your loved ones Christmas blessings and special remembrance in my Masses.
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath