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My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
After all the carols have been sung, after all the sitcoms have blared banalities or irreverent Yuletide yowls, after we stumble the final steps towards the 25th of December, an angel still whispers a name: “Emmanuel, God-with-us” (Mt 1:23).
After an autumn of anxiety and bitter partisanship, when many people feel forgotten or unwelcomed, the Word assures us that “the grace of God has appeared, saving all …” (Ti 2:11).
After four years of sharing love, encouragement, laughter, tears, triumphs and defeats, after all the goodbyes have pierced our hearts and obliged us to begin again, we must exult, since “from his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because … grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17-18).
After all is said and done, we remain in Christ Jesus, who is Emmanuel and grace and truth, and we will continue to recognize Him—and each other—in the breaking of the bread.
Rejoice in the Lord!
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
P.S. Thank you everyone for your kind messages, e-mails and cards. I’ve read all of them, but in this busy time of transition I’m afraid I can’t respond to each of them individually. I will take your kindness with me.