Christmas Message 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

The great feast of Christmas, unlike any other holiday, has such powerful imagery. The Christmas tree, the glimmering lights, the beautifully wrapped presents, the familiar carols and much more all contribute to our celebration of this incredible feast.

For what we celebrate on Christmas is truly incredible. The eternal, all powerful God is born for us as a small helpless child. In Jesus, God has broken heaven open and come down to dwell among us for a time – clothed in our own human flesh, to save us from the power of sin and death.

In these holy days, let us go once again to Bethlehem, to the stable where we see only a tired couple, far from home, struggling to find comfort as they share the joy of a new child. It is a joy they share with only a few shepherds, huddled together near their flocks close to the manger. The image here is quiet and still – stark in its simplicity and its peace. It is a peace that invites us in and envelopes us. 

The Christ Child, the Prince of Peace, beckons us that he might calm the weary and noisy turmoil of our world and our lives – and form a new creation of our hearts with faith and love. It is this Christ child who can transform us and give us new hope and a new perspective. It is this Christ child who can renew our Church, our families, our relationships, our priorities – but only if we allow him to take flesh in us in the silence and peace of our hearts.

Let us gaze upon the Word of God made flesh, who lies in the silence of the crib. Having experienced his peace, love, hope and joy, let us then share the good news with those we meet – that Jesus is born for us as our Lord and Savior,  speaking not just with words, but in the eloquence of loving kindness, mercy, patience and compassion.

On behalf of Bishop Gettelfinger and the entire Diocesan Staff, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a joyous and grace-filled New Year.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel