“The Peace of Christmas” — A message for 2016 from Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

This depiction of the Nativity is from a stained glass window at St. Mary Church in Canton. The Catnton faith community will not see the window this Christmas because the church remains closed for repair following the Nov. 16 deadly natural gas explosion in the city's downtown. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Christmas, 2016

“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 Mass Bishop homilyrestores 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.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

BISHOP OF PEORIA

 

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