2017 Christmas message
Christmas is not always egg nog and fruit cake. For example, Mary may have been tempted to discouragement when, following God’s command and consenting to give birth to Jesus, she met with rejection: Joseph, her espoused, decided to divorce her (although, as we know, he later responded with faith). And who knows what else Mary suffered from fellow villagers, whose reactions are not recorded, but who may have doubted and even scorned her for saying that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit? What we do know is Mary’s response. She lived by faith. She continued to ponder the Word of God. She continued to love, including her care for her cousin Elizabeth.
Living by faith did not exempt Mary from the difficulties of life. She had to flee those who would harm her son; she had to tolerate the misunderstanding of the world; and she had to witness the cruel death of her child. But the hope that first stirred in her when the baby Jesus was alive in her womb continued to sustain her faith in God’s salvific plan throughout her life.
The Catholic Charities ministry is moved by the same hope today, the hope that entered the world on Christmas day and continues to inspire hope in God and expel discouragement through the work of charity.
May you and your family enjoy a blessed Christmas and be inspired by the gift of Christ to live the faith more vibrantly, full of hope for life in heaven, even as we anticipate that blessedness here and now.