December 11, 2011
Once again I am pleased to have the opportunity to write to you at Christmas. In doing so, I would like to extend to you and your loved ones my heartfelt wishes that your celebrations of the Birth of the Lord will be a source of joy for you all.
As our beautiful Valley of Saint Clare moves ever closer to winter’s long, cold nights, the darkness is pierced here and there by the lights of the season. These lights are more than decorative; they are signs of hope, offering witness to our celebration of the Birth of the One we call “Light from Light.”
The light of Christ pierces the darkness of fear, despair and loneliness. The human condition –with its weaknesses, its struggles and even its sinfulness, yet with its singular inherent goodness – finds new meaning and new hope in the coming of the Christ in the flesh.
The miracle of the Incarnation – of the only begotten Son of God becoming truly human – continues to shine in all of the dark places of our world. Jesus, our Lord, is truly our brother. He became one of us. Jesus, our Lord, was born of Mary and knew a father’s love in Joseph. He continues to be present to us in the gift of the Eucharist and all of the sacraments, in his holy Word and in our sisters and brothers, “the least” who are hungry, homeless, ill, in prison; we meet him strangers and newcomers, immigrants, orphans and widows.
In reaching out to Christ who continues to suffer as long as the least suffer, you and I have the wonderful opportunity of being bearers of light, Jesus, “the true light which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). May we do so always.
I pray that the coming Feast of Christmas allows you to experience the grace, light and peace of the Lord and to share these gifts with all whom you encounter in this blessed season.
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose
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