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 | By The Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS Bishop of Charleston

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we emerge from the season of Advent, we prepare ourselves for Christ’s presence among us. A child was born in a small town called Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Then, 33 years after his birth, he surrendered his body, carrying the weight of our sins in blood on his back so that the gates of paradise might be opened and the veil between humanity and God might be lifted.

Christ did not come to the world in the form of a powerful noble. There were no armies of angels and a splendorous golden crown as he victoriously conquered the earth. Rather, he brought himself down to our level, taking on humanity to elevate us all by being held high on a cross. Jesus revealed himself to shepherds for he would shepherd us. He was laid in a feeding trough for animals for he gave us his body as the food that sustains us.

In the celebration of Mass, we are truly present when the Word is made flesh and dwells among us.

In a way, every Mass is like Christmas. When we visit Christ crucified in the tabernacle, we gaze at the magnificence of the child in the manger.

Like the Magi, the wise ones from the East who came to give him homage, we are beckoned toward Jesus, enlightened by the star of grace, God’s life within us. The angels that announced his birth that holy night are present at each eucharistic celebration, proclaiming the holiness and might of the Infant King.

This Christmas season, let us thank God for the gift of his body and blood. Let us prepare our souls for the reception of his sacraments, so that we might be united to God as his children, counted among his flock and held in the protective arms of Mary and Joseph.

I wish you and all whom you love a merry and blessed Christmas! Rejoice, for he is with us. 

In the love of Christ,

Most Rev. Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS

Bishop of Charleston