Today, Christmas Eve, as we celebrate the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, and look forward to the joys of Christmas Day, I offer Christmas wishes to my fellow Catholics: active, passive, and fallen-away:
Here’s hoping you’ll find time for Mass tonight – this celebration of Christ’s Mass (Christmas) – even and especially if you haven’t been in awhile. I’m sure there’ll be a few options for your schedule; and never despair at returning to the God who loves you. Know, as a member of God’s family, among the Communion of Saints, there are those praying for you more often than you’ll ever know.
Tonight, let the Christ-child, whom we celebrate in a very special way this season, and especially tonight, and Christmas Day, have a place in the Inn of your Heart. Make room for the infant Jesus there.
Saint Pope John Paul II called the Eucharist the “Source and Summit of the Christian faith.” This is because the Eucharist refreshes the soul of everyone who thirsts for Him. Through your baptismal (Catholic) faith you have a seat at this table in a very special way. The Eucharist is food for the soul. It is the Manna come down from Heaven – the food granted to God’s people for the Christian journey.
My prayer for you, Catholic brothers and sisters in the Christian faith, is that throughout your life, despite the noise of this Secular Age in which we live, you will hear Christ’s Eucharistic call for you – his loving invitation to let him journey with you each day of your life; to join him at his Communion table, to receive Him as food for your journey and, in this Eucharistic celebration at every Mass, you will invite the Christ-child to change and transform you, so, like St. Paul, it will no longer be I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
Such is the transformative, sacramental power of the Eucharist. And it this arrival of the baby born of a Virgin, born to be the King of Kings, the long-awaited Messiah foretold through the ages by the Jewish prophets, whom we celebrate on this Christmas Day. It is He whom we celebrate at this Christ’s Mass and at every Mass celebrated every hour, of every day, on every nation of the Earth.
It is through our life’s journey that we are meant to truly discover who God has created us to be. We are called for mission; and we, Catholics, are very fortunate, for we truly are blessed – we who have been called to the Supper of the Lamb.
Trust always in God’s plans for you. Live out your mission in and through your baptismal faith.
Merry Christmas. Peace be with you – always.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.
Holy Family pray for us … Amen.