Do not be robbed of the joy of Christmas
By Most Reverend Bishop James A. Tamayo, Bishop of the Diocese of Laredo
Nine months into the global pandemic that has turned lives upside down, we are all somewhat used to a different way of life. Undoubtedly, it may still be difficult to accept the fact that Christmas will look different this year. For some, the struggle is in not being able to gather with extended family as in past years. For others, there is a void from a loved one or loved ones who are no longer with us in this world. Those who are working on the frontlines may be experiencing a heaviness after all of the pain and tragedy they have witnessed over the past months. Whatever your situation is, know that there is still immense joy to be found when we stop and ponder the miracle of Christmas. This year is no different in that regard.
We rejoice at Christmas as we remember the greatest gift God has given us—that of His Son, Jesus Christ. I invite you to turn your eyes and your hearts to the infant born to Mary in a manger. Imagine yourself celebrating that first Christmas in a cold, dark and foul-smelling stable filled with animals. Picture yourself being guided by the North Star, as the wise men were, to meet and take gifts to our savior—born as a baby. Can you see Mary and Joseph protecting their newborn son? Do you see the wonder that fills their eyes as they swaddle the Savior of the world? Are you overwhelmed at the thought that our Lord would humble Himself to be born in such a way?
Surely, we may think, Mary should have at least given birth in one of the rooms at the inn. Yet, this was not God’s plan; and there is always a purpose in what God does. From the moment He chose Mary to be the Mother of His Son, God made it evident that Jesus was meant to walk among us, living and suffering as we do so that we might turn to him—without hesitation—in times of despair.
Mary accepted God’s will. She did not look at the comfort or pleasures of this world that were lacking. Her sole focus was adoring the One who came to save us all.
Allow God to fill your heart with peace as you contemplate the incredible gift of Jesus. Do not allow the pain or suffering of this world rob you of that ultimate joy and peace. Rather, be consumed by the all-encompassing love of our Lord manifested through the birth of Christ. Jesus was sent for you and for me just as much as He was sent to deliver the Israelites who awaited a Savior. God fulfilled His promise when he sent His Son to be born of Mary many years ago.
There is infinite hope found in the child whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. We know who that baby is, and we are aware of His victory over evil. Filled with this knowledge, may we find immense strength to not just endure the sufferings of this life, but to rejoice in the light that was brought into this world on that first Christmas night over 2000 years ago. For unto us, a savior has been born…Todo Con Amor!
A message from Bishop Tamayo