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Christmas Message from Archbishop V. James Weisgerber, President of the CCCB

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weisgerber.jpgWith Christmas fast approaching, the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has published his annual message.

Archbishop V. James Weisgerber points out the extraordinary impact this time of year has.  “It is amazing that the feast of Jesus’ birth can still stir us up and call us to be something more than we usually are, to demonstrate some of the best of ourselves. What we need to remember is that the birth of Jesus some 2000 years ago was the beginning of a great mystery, a mystery which still transforms us and our world today.  The little baby of Bethlehem is the same person whose love and power calls us and enables us to live generous, inclusive, hospitable and sacrificial lives not only in December, but throughout the whole year.”

As I put pen to paper, I must confess that not only the city in which I live but I myself have been taken over by the “Christmas spirit”. I know it’s too early, but it’s really quite wonderful. People seem to be warming up, opening up to each other. Strangers smile and greet each other. We seem to lose our fear for the future for which we save, insure, pile up. Now we’re willing to splurge, sometimes extravagantly, to please those we love. The poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, all often hidden and forgotten – these suddenly become important. Everybody wants to do something for the poor. We reach out to old friends, we make plans to bring our families together. We truly want to celebrate.

It is amazing that even in our jaded society the feast of Jesus’ birth can still stir us up and call us to be something more than we usually are, to demonstrate some of the best of ourselves. What we need to remember is that the birth of Jesus some 2000 years ago was the beginning of a great mystery, a mystery which still transforms us and our world today. The little baby of Bethlehem is the same person whose love and power calls us and enables us to live generous, inclusive, hospitable and sacrificial lives not only in December, but throughout the whole year.

This is precisely why we gather each Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist through which the Risen Lord continues to transform each of us as he builds up the Church. More and more, we come to understand the centrality of the Sunday Eucharist in our lives as Christians. This is a wonderful gift to the contemporary Church. As Canadians, we will have the great honor of hosting the whole world for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, 15-22 June 2008, where we will be able to worship the Lord and recognize his transforming power in the Eucharist, God’s gift for the life of the world.

Bethlehem was the beginning, Jerusalem was the climax, and the Eucharist is the extension of this mystery throughout time and space. Let our hearts be filled with wonder and awe.

On behalf of the Bishops of Canada, I extend to each and everyone our heartfelt wishes for a joyful celebration of our Savior’s birth.

Christmas 2007

Last Updated on Friday, December 28 2007  
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