"the holidays" each December get more and more generic and
less and less religious, many Americans can't remember anymore
why we're supposed to feel joy and peace. Warm feelings
need a reason, and this year especially, we have plenty
to feel burdened about: a tough economy, a war on terror,
troubles within the Church herself, a looming conflict with
of these burdens are real, but for the believer, none of them can obscure
the real meaning of Christmas. None of them can diminish the clean,
bright beauty of Christmas Mass, or the glory of the carols we hold
dear. This day is the birthday of life. This day is the beginning of
hope. Jesus Christ is Lord — the only name under heaven by which we
can be saved (Acts 4:12); there is no other — and His birth is our rebirth.
The joy in Christmas
is the fact that God's love becomes flesh; God enters a sinful world
in order to redeem it. The peace in Christmas is the reconciliation
God begins in Bethlehem between Himself and humanity. The stable leads
to the cross; the cross to a tomb; and the tomb to resurrection and
life. Easter begins in Christmas, and that is the reason we sing. This
is a good time of year to remember that what we celebrate as Christians
is much more than a pious story about a baby, or a parable about new
life. Christmas is real. Christmas is a revolution. Christmas begins
an uprising against the world, against sin, against death, against despair,
against loneliness, led by the loving God who created us.
In Genesis, God
said, "Let there be light," and creation began. This Christmas, and
every Christmas, God speaks again through His Son — His Word made flesh
— "Let there be a light," and in the Christmas sky rises a light to
the gentiles which renews the world.
The source of our
joy is our hope; and the reason for our hope is our faith in Jesus Christ.
May His birth fill each of you with happiness this Christmas season
and throughout the coming year.
in the Lord,
Most Rev. Charles
J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
Most Rev. José H. Gomez, S.T.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver