“‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23).
These words of the Gospel, simple as they are, speak to the depth of the great gift of Christmas, which I pray all of you and your families will know throughout this Christmas season, and beyond.
May you know the blessings and motherly care of Mary: She graciously and faithfully accepted the call to be the Mother of God. May her trust in and generous love for God, who she bore as her own child, be present to you and yours, all of whom are entrusted to Mary’s motherhood.
May the birthday of Christ be a source of renewal in you life. He who chose to become like us “in all things except sin,” is born that “we might have life, and have it more abundantly.” May the life of Christ among us, celebrated during these days, increase your faith and awareness that Christ lives within you.
May “God is with us,” show Himself to you this day. This blessing, which is at the very heart of the Christmas mystery (and thus, the reason for the season), is more than just a spiritual presence. That God is born into the human life shows that he is God with us not only in spirit, but in the whole of our human existence: in good and bad, in joy and sorrow, in peace and in tribulation; in good health and in suffering. Whatever we experience in human life, Jesus Christ is with us – this is the greatest blessing of all. May this presence of Christ in every moment be renewed this day. May Jesus, “the Word made flesh,” who dwells among us, be ever more present to you.
As we continue in the celebration of Christmas by honoring the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I sincerely hope the continuing celebration of Christmas will lead to greater unity and peace among all families, and that all may know the joy and hope that Christ alone offers to each. Merry Christmas.
Fr. Joel Hastings
Listen to the Christmas Eve homily HERE.