A message for Christmas 2010 from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Photo Caption: This manger scene is part of a large display at St. Patrick’s Church in Hennepin set up annually by Father Patrick DeMeulemeester, pastor. (See related story at bottom of page.)
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
During this Christmas season in homes and churches around the world, followers of Christ will look upon a Nativity scene with images of Mary and Joseph, the wise men and shepherds, and the baby Jesus in the manger. And as we take time to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas — how the promise of a savior was fulfilled on that most holy night — we come face to face with the incredible mystery of the Incarnation of God.
In this one act of incomparable love and mercy the whole relationship between God and man was changed forever. God is no longer distant and set apart. God is with us. A point of contact between heaven and earth has been established that will last until the end of time.
But Jesus Christ is more than an ambassador. A man like us in all things but sin, He is also a model of holiness. He shows us that happiness is not found in riches, fame and achievement but in God alone. He shows us how to use our freedom well. And he shows us what love is like in heaven, so that during our time on earth we can prepare to be with him for eternity.
And most of all Jesus came with a mission to take away the sins of the world, your sins and mine, so that nothing would stand between us and Him. He is our savior.
This is the Christ child we gaze upon in the manger. This is the Christ child to whom the wise men from the east came to give homage 2000 years ago. And this is the same Christ child to whom wise men and women today come to give homage and to worship.
It is my prayer that each of us will spend this Christmas season in the company of family and friends as we reflect on the Holy Family of God and give thanks.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.
BISHOP OF PEORIA