Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At Christmas, we hear the proclamation: “For unto us a Savior is born who is Christ and Lord. ” This good news of great joy is the reason for our renewed faith and hope.
In a world experiencing so much unrest, a Savior is born who announces peace, brings glad tidings, and comforts his people. In a nation that is divided, a Savior is born who unites us as God’s holy family, as brothers and sisters. In our lives, when we are overwhelmed by our crosses and sufferings, a Savior is born who embraces us in his love and mercy with the strength and grace we need.
And for all these gifts, the Lord asks so little in return. He simply wants us to strive every day to trust him, to be faithful, and to be instruments of his peace to all those we love and meet. What we do at Christmas teaches us the way.
So, with the help of Mary and Joseph, strive to be what our Church and world need more than ever: holy families. Do so by loving and respecting one another and giving to each other the most precious gifts of all: your time and attention. As you have been forgiven, ask for the grace to forgive others, especially those who have offended you, so that no bitterness is within your heart. Continue the spirit of giving that is so prevalent at this time of year, especially as you share your resources and blessings with our brothers and sisters in most need.
Dear friends in Christ, please be assured of a special remembrance at the Christmas Masses I will celebrate, and please pray for me. Through the intercession of Mary and Joseph, trust in the power of the Lord to renew and transform our world, nation, and each one of us. May the peace that only Christ can give be yours at Christmas and always.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Arlington