Whenever I look at a nativity scene, especially the shepherds, I cannot help wonder what did they feel when they encountered Christ in the manger; they obeyed the angelic message to ‘draw themselves close to Jesus in the manger. I am sure they experienced His love and grace; for indeed the birth of Jesus is one of the greatest manifestations of God’s love for all of us.
From the moment Mary said yes to the Bethlehem journey, the entire salvation story began to unfold for the human race because God became flesh for our sanctification. The Light of the World sparked out from a manger in a cave.
My Christmas message for you is to be like those humble shepherds and draw close to Jesus in the manger (in our times – the Eucharist). Experience His love, mercy and grace, which will give you the strength to journey in this life. Meditate on the Christmas story as recorded in the Gospel of Luke 1 and 2, and re-affirm your relationship with God; for a conversion of heart is the best Christmas gift we can give to Jesus on His birthday.
I would like to reiterate: as you celebrate this joyful season with your families and loved ones, remember the poor and those who have lost a family member are not celebrating Christmas; spread a little Christmas joy with them as well.
I want you to be assured of my prayers for all your intentions as I wish all of you a Blessed and Joyful Christmas.
+Bishop Alwyn Barreto