Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
We have seen His glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth!
The Prologue of John’s Gospel proclaims with awesome beauty the great truth of the One Who is born of the Virgin Mary. The Father’s Only Son has become flesh and dwelt among us. God’s glory becomes manifest in a little child! His glory is made known through a human birth. All of humankind is changed and changed forever. God reveals to us a wholly new aspect of God’s love. For He so loved the world that He sent His only Son, born of a woman! Divine life becomes one with human life and human life will never be the same.
Small wonder angels sing, shepherds adore and wise men come seeking truth, real truth, the truth of God’s Love given to us in the all so very human dimension of a baby, but a baby born of a Virgin. He is born of a woman so that He could redeem not only His Virgin Mother but all of us who are rescued by Him from a destiny of death to a destiny of love and life eternal.
St. Bernard writes beautifully about the two comings of Jesus. The first is the birth of Mary’s Son in Bethlehem and the second is when He comes in glory and majesty when all flesh will see the salvation of our God! But, he adds there is a third coming of Jesus, an intermediary one, like a road leading from the first to the last coming. On that road are all of us who seek to keep God’s word in our hearts and to live according to His commandments. If you keep the Word of God in this way, without a doubt you will be kept by it.
This Christmas I pray that all of us will let the new born child into our hearts and into our lives. I pray the Son of God made man to make all things new, will fill your lives and give new hope and joy to your lives day after day until He comes in glory. Let Christ take possession of you completely for He created you and He comes now to redeem you. And He will glorify you so that you will see that He makes our lives like His and makes us one with Him in the Father’s glory: we too, ourselves, thanks to Him, full of grace and of truth.
A joyful, blessed and peaceful Christmas to you, your families and all those you carry in your heart!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Bishop William Murphy