December 20, 2016
WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) encourages us to visit the manger this Christmas and reflect upon how we can give of ourselves in the New Year.
Cardinal DiNardo has released the following Christmas message. A video version of his message is also available at https://www.facebook.com/usccb/videos/10154186175772285/
Full message follows:
The Gift of Ourselves
My brothers and sisters in Christ, like the Magi and the shepherds before us, we are making our Christmas journey to see the new born savior. Centuries ago, gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh greeted the infant Jesus. People in need of God’s love rejoiced in the news of his birth and offered gifts of gratitude. This Christmas, let us also visit the manger and give the gift of ourselves. This gift arises from our desire and search for peace at this time and place.
We discover the fragile innocence of hope in the eyes of a new born baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Mary and Joseph welcomed this young hope, for Jesus made known, in his very Person, the promise of “great joy that will be for all people.” We can nurture that same hope today. We do this by greeting one another in love and charity, embracing civility and not letting our differences hide the dignity and beauty God has given each of us as his children.
Allow me to say a special word to our sisters and brothers who find themselves immigrants and refugees on Christmas Day. In you, we see the very struggles of the Holy Family. From the angel of the Lord, Joseph heard the call to “rise and flee” in order to keep Mary and Jesus safe from violence at home. The Catholic Church in the United States is praying for you and is working to welcome you as we would the Holy Family.
We remain a people in need of God’s love this Christmas, especially the unborn or unemployed, the suffering and sick, the lonely and the grieving. Let us pray the Holy Spirit will come upon us as he overshadowed the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation so that filled with the love of her Son, we will “proclaim the greatness of the Lord.” Merry Christmas!