Christmas Message 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In the hustle and bustle that leads up to our celebration of Christmas, many of us find ourselves asking, "What's it all about?" We sometimes wonder in the rush, the stress and the hurry, whether we have somehow missed the real meaning of it all. I have been pondering that question myself as I prepare for Christmas, and I hope that some of my reflections might help you to enter more fully into this celebration of the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Christmas is, first and foremost, about Love, God's Love. How much does God love us? God loves us so much that God gave us the most precious gift imaginable, Jesus, God's own Son. That's the heart of Christmas.

This great and wonderful love calls us to love one another. We share love in and through our human relationships. Love isn't always a warm and cozy feeling; love is a commitment and a decision to stick by others, come what may, through thick and thin, when the going is easy and when the going gets more challenging. The love that we share in our human relationships is a reflection of the love of God, calling us to give of ourselves for others.

At Christmas, we remember that Jesus was born in poverty, in a stable among the poorest people and the farm animals. What does this mean for us today? You and I are called to look for the face of Christ in the poor, those at our own door and in places far from here. Love can look like a cup of coffee offered, a hand held, a smile shared, and a story heard. I firmly believe that, in the end, we will be judged by how we care for the poor.

And Christmas is also about repentance and forgiveness. Love takes commitment and work, and sometimes we don't get it right. We're not perfect. But with God there is mercy and forgiveness, and second chances. And so must we offer those gifts to others. Christmas is a time of renewal, of fresh starts and coming together.

We often hear the phrase "Keep Christ in Christmas" and we wonder how to do that. I think that Jesus himself gave us the best insight; if you want to keep Christ in Christmas, look around you, and look for Him. He is here. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned, and love your enemies. "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

Merry Christmas to you!

In Christ,

Most Reverend Martin W. Currie, D.D.

Archbishop of St. John’s

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