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Bishop Guglielmone’s Christmas message: The greatest gift of all

As trees are decorated, wreaths are hung, houses glisten with lights and the familiar sounds of seasonal music fill the air, it is important to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Just a look around stores and neighborhoods will reveal a focus on retail, decorations and finding the ideal present. But amidst the toys, electronics and jewelry, we must seek out the most important gift of all, indeed the perfect gift. It does not come wrapped in foiled paper, it is not tied with satin bows, and it does not take second place to the next best thing that comes along. It is the greatest gift of all, the incarnation, a vulnerable babe in a humble stable who is our savior Jesus Christ.

It is chastening indeed to contemplate that our Messiah can become second to tinsel and snowflakes. This is the most important time of the year; nothing compares except Easter.

If we mindfully observe the Advent days preceding the birth of Christ, then we can create traditions in our families that involve preparing for the arrival of Jesus with prayer and reflection. It is a strong swimmer who can push against the tide of culture, but people of faith can be the force of change by engaging in loving acts of generosity.

This is especially significant as we fulfill the legacy of the Year of Mercy. Advent and Christmas are a poignant time to show the light of God to the world around us. In addition to the traditions of lighting candles on Advent wreaths and decorating Jesse Trees, families can offer their own special prayers for those who go without or make time for people who are suffering in some way. We can be as creative with our mercy as we are in decorating our trees and homes.

On Christmas, we often exchange gifts, but do any of those presents reflect the gift that we have been given? We are reminded of the Magi who presented frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

Frankincense was a perfume used in worship and denoted the divinity of Christ Jesus, gold was a gift for kings and Jesus is the King of Kings, and myrrh was used in the preparation of the dead — a sign of Jesus’ imminent suffering and death on the cross.

During this season, celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts, and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with Him. Let us include the Christ Child in the gift of giving, making Him prominent by reflecting our adoration in words and deed.

The only way to change the world is to change ourselves — what better time than at the birth of our Savior.

 

Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston




Diocesan Events Calendar
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Apr 209:00 am Mass
From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville
7:00 pm Bishop Guglielmone to preside at Confirmation - St. Anne and St. Jude at St. Anne - Sumter
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 21 Silent Auction and Dinner Event
From the Calendar of St. John School North Charleston
12th Annual School Gala
From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
Gala
From the Calendar of St. Anne School Rock Hill
8:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
From the Calendar of Diaconate
9:30 am Gr. 2 First Holy Communion Mass
From the Calendar of St. Mary School Greenville
6:00 pm First Communion
From the Calendar of St. Michael School Murrells Inlet
6:15 pm Bishop Guglielmone to preside at Confirmation - Holy Trinity - Orangeburg to include St. Theresa Mission, Springfield, St. Mary Mission, Allendale and St. Andrew, Barnwell
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 228:30 am Diaconate Formation Class
From the Calendar of Diaconate
2:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - Corpus Christi - Lexington
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 23 Early Dismissal
From the Calendar of St. Peter School Columbia
2:00 pm Dismissal
From the Calendar of St. Martin de Porres School Columbia
2:00 Dismissal
From the Calendar of St. Joseph School Columbia
Faculty In-service
From the Calendar of St. John Neumann School Columbia
2 PM Dismissal Teacher Inservice
From the Calendar of Cardinal Newman School
7:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - St. John the Beloved - Summerville
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 247:00 pm Bishop to preside at Confirmation - Immaculate Conception - Goose Creek
From the Calendar of Bishop's Office
Apr 25 ER/In-service
From the Calendar of Our Lady of Peace North Augusta
TAG Day
From the Calendar of Our Lady of the Rosary Greenville