December 16, 2022


This Christmas, new year, be bearers of Jesus to a world that needs him

A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us.

The responsorial psalm prayed during the Mass at Dawn for the Nativity of Our Lord on Dec. 25 speaks to the heart of what we celebrate on Christmas. 

The Christ Child, in all his vulnerability and weakness, is born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. The three Wise Men follow his star to pay him homage, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It is a day we, too, should pay the Child homage, understanding our Savior who is Christ the Lord has been born for humanity. What a great gift from our Creator!

He will be a light for the world on this day and beyond, bringing joy to many who are his brothers and sisters, and helping others overcome the suffering, wars and sorrows that grip parts of humanity. We must remember: as we celebrate Christmas and every day beyond, it is this truth that must fill us with joyful hope amid the darkness many are experiencing. 

As our late shepherd, Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, wrote in his Christmas message in 2008, “All we need to do is look at a Christmas crib scene for a little while in order to realize that Christmas belongs to everybody. We like that. For one brief moment, Christmas brings everybody together.” 

Our current shepherd, Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, reminded us in his Christmas message last year, “In the person of Jesus Christ, God became one like us in all things but sin. He came to us so that nothing could prevent us from being reconciled to him and one another.” 

As we reflect on all that’s transpired in 2022 and patiently await to begin a new calendar year, we encourage people of faith to “keep Christ” not only in Christmas, but in all they say and do during this season and in 2023. 

Like the message the angel shared with Mary at the Annunciation, we must not be afraid of what is in front of us. Trusting in God’s providence, we must believe his Son will be with us on our earthly journey, and like Mary, respond, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). 

 Archbishop Thompson in recent years has spoken poignantly and frequently about the need to build up the body of Christ throughout central and southern Indiana and beyond. 

There is too much anger, vitriol and a lack of civility in many places, the archbishop has noted. An increase in violence, mental health issues and an ever-increasing polarization—along with humanitarian concerns and natural disasters—continually offer stark reminders that the human condition is in a very vulnerable state.

Although we face ongoing and sometimes unforeseen challenges, we must not let these situations overwhelm us. It is true that for many, it’s getting harder and harder to see our Lord, to recognize him in all things and to follow him. But these are the times we need to run to God in prayer.

As Christmas and a new calendar year approach, why not make prayer, Scripture and the sacraments paramount to your life of faith?

If transforming your life is among your New Year’s goals, we encourage you to reflect on two words in preparation: determination and perseverance. If you are determined, you will have a firmness of purpose and resoluteness to complete things you set out to do. Perseverance, we understand, means you will have persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Our faith implores us to keep Christ at the center of all we do. It must be at the heart of each of our vocations. In today’s ever-increasingly secularized world, determination and perseverance are needed for us to do just that.

As we celebrate Christmas, New Year’s and every day beyond, may we be bearers of Jesus to a world that needs him more than ever.

—Mike Krokos

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