Dear Friends in Christ,
May the Lord bless us and may we celebrate a joy and peace filled Merry Christmas! As we approach the Solemnity of Christmas, let us remember the greatest gift that God has given us-His eternally begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Life is a great gift of God and in Christ, we receive the fullness of life, truth, joy, and peace. Let us make a spiritual journey with the Magi and the shepherds and go to Jesus. Let us honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and Joseph with devotion. And let us adore the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who humbled himself to take on our nature in all things but sin. Perhaps this journey may include visiting someone who is sick or homebound because of infirmity.
Bishop Daniel Thomas has offered a request to all of us. He has asked that we offer works of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for the people of the Diocese of Toledo and for him. For prayer, he has requested that we offer one Rosary a week. For fasting, he has asked that we offer one day of fasting. And for almsgiving, he has asked that we give alms to local charity or help the poor according to our means. He asks this so that we may be holy. And holiness means that we are set apart to belong to God.
The gift of God himself strengthens us in holiness. May our hearts be prepared to receive Christ, having done penance and offered good works of charity to God and on behalf of our brothers and sisters. And for those of us who may feel lonely during this time of the year, may we always remember that we have place in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. May our homes reflect the light and peace of Bethlehem at that first Christmas. And may the Lord abundantly bless our families with love and grace,