Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“The Word was made flesh, and he made his dwelling among us.” These momentous words from the beginning of John’s Gospel describe exactly what we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, has indeed come among us and become a part of our human family. He shared our joys and our sorrows. He came to know the full expanse of our human experiences, those that lift us up and those that cast us down. Through his death and resurrection, he has transformed our lives and our very world. The One born among us as Son of God and Son of Mary has given us a new birth in hope.
We know the challenges that marked his life from the very beginning. We recall how the Holy Family shared the plight of refugees, when they had to flee to Egypt to protect their newborn child from violence. These challenges find an echo in our world today. We see people flee the violence of war and oppression and crushing poverty. Their plight moves our heart to do whatever we can to alleviate their pain. Their story, framed within the story of the Holy Family, also reminds of the unfailing hand of God’s providence that leads us and saves us. And that gives us joyful confidence.
Whatever the challenges we face as individuals and communities—from war, violence, disease, injustice, natural climate disasters—we do not lose hope. We know that the Word was made flesh and made his dwelling among us. He walks with us. He sustains us. He gives us a hope that will not disappoint.
Join me in prayer this Christmas season. Let us ask God to deepen our faith in the Incarnate Word. Let us ask God to renew our hope and lift us up when we are weary. Let us ask God to keep our hearts joyful in all circumstances, because we have come to know God’s love for us.
God bless you and all your loved ones. As I celebrate the Eucharist in this Christmas season, know that I bring all of you to the altar with me.
Sincerely yours in Christ
Blase Cardinal Cupich /s
Archbishop of Chicago