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Christmas Letter 2011 Print E-mail

The Bishop's OfficeDear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US

With these solemn words, St John the Evangelist announces the most momentous event in human history. God Who created everything out of nothing through His Word decided “in the fullness of time to send His Son, born of a woman.” Once that great event occurred in the Bethlehem stable, nothing in this world could be the same! Now the hopes and dreams of every person in every age for life and love, for joy and peace would no longer come from afar, no longer be unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Now they would be ours because they would be offered to us by God, our loving Father, by His only Son Who is one of us, one with us in all things but sin.

Small wonder the angels sing, GLORIA. Small wonder that the shepherds respond and rush to discover joy, hope and peace in the face of this Child lying in a manger. Small wonder that Mary, whose YES to God made possible the coming of our Savior into our lives to share our lives, looks with ineffable love at the One Whom she carried in her womb as she always would carry Him in her heart. This Christmas, once again, we rejoice that God so loved the world that He sent His Son to be our savior. He will be no stranger to our lives, to our hopes, our needs, our worries, and yes, even our failures. He will know the human heart because His heart beats as do ours. But, unlike our hearts, His heart is unfathomable in its love for us all, a love that will triumph ultimately when He loves us, usque ad finem, even to a death that sets us free.

This Christmas, we are invited to gaze on Him once again, to see hope rekindled from a manger, life renewed in this child, forgiveness and reconciliation made real, and love, undying love bringing to us and all the world peace, the peace that bears a name, Jesus Christ.

As the pastor of this Diocese of Rockville Centre, I wish you all a share in this new life, this new hope, this joy, this love and peace. I invite you to open your hearts to one another, in your families and in your neighborhoods, in your parishes and in our Diocese. May we who have been forgiven by the Son of God made man forgive one another. May we who have been reconciled by this Child born of Mary be reconcilers ourselves. May we who may be suffering find solace in His dwelling among others. May we who have been excluded or feel abandoned find new hope in Him. And may we all be peacemakers to one another, in our families and communities, in our neighborhoods and parishes. And please, we must never forget the poor for the One Who was rich made Himself poor for love of us. He loves the poor with a preferential love.  And He knows that all of us need to share that love today more than ever.

Rejoice! Again I say, Rejoice! The Word was made flesh. He dwells among us. He is Emanuel, God with us. He is Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the world!

+William Murphy
Bishop of Rockville Centre

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