Bishop: Christmas peace is still possible, one heart at a time

Photo Caption: This manger scene is from The Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Spring Valley, created in 2013 from the merger of the former Immaculate Conception, St. Anthony, and Sts. Peter and Paul faith communities.

Following is the 2013 Christmas message to the Diocese of Peoria from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC:

“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth!”

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

On every great feast day and on almost every Sunday of the year, the song of the Christmas angels echoes down the ages in the Church’s sacred liturgy. As we celebrate the almost incomprehensible mystery of the Incarnation of God, this greeting takes on special meaning.

“Peace” is the message of Jesus Christ — from His Birth to His Resurrection. Yet, we know that the peace of Christ is not “given as the world gives peace.” First and foremost, the Peace of Christmas is a peace that comes from reconciliation. Today, the lost are invited home. The alienated are welcomed. And sinners are offered the grace of communion with the God who loves them beyond all telling.

This same grace that restores the longed-for union of God and mankind also empowers each of us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters. The Christ Child comes with peace for the whole world. While we know that war, violence and hatred are all too common in our world, our communities and even our families, Christmas peace is still possible — one heart at a time.

As we celebrate this holy season, I pray that each of us may enjoy the warm community of family and friends — glorifying God for the gift of His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Peace be with you,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria

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