Bishop Jenky’s 2018 Christmas message: With Mary, treasure the Incarnation mystery

A stained-glass image from the choir loft of St. Bernard Church in Bushnell depicts the scene of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. "The living memory of the Christmas mystery can transform every aspect of our lives and of our world today and for eternity," writes Bishop Jenky. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

To the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria and to all people of good will:

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

“And Mary treasured all of these things in her heart.” (cf. Luke 2:51)

Christmas — and all the many Church and family rituals that surround this sacred season — is a time for memory. We gather with family and friends around tables loaded with traditional foods. We sing carols that most of us know from heart. We decorate our homes and parishes with time-honored ornaments and treasured family customs. We find comforting memories in those special elements, without which, “it just wouldn’t be Christmas.”

But most of all, with Mary, the sinless Mother of God, we treasure the annual festival of the Incarnation — that God the Father so loved the world that he sent his only Son to take on sinful flesh so that sinners may become saints. In the glory of God-Made-Man, the Father sees and loves in us, what He sees and loves in Christ.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. (The Catholic Post file photo)

As we celebrate the great festivals of the Christmas season, I pray that these days may be of “living memory.” We do not simply call to mind past events, but we re-enter events that are truly present to faithful believers. The living memory of the Christmas mystery can transform every aspect of our lives and of our world today and for eternity.

In the coming year, I have asked our diocese to rekindle our love for our Lady’s Rosary. I can think of no better way to make present the eternal mysteries of our faith. With our Lady, especially through our meditation on the Rosary, may we never forget God’s Incarnate Love for all mankind. Let us treasure these Christmas memories always in our hearts.

May God bless you, your families, and our world during this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

BISHOP OF PEORIA

 

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