A Christmas Message By Most Rev. James A. Tamayo, Bishop of the Diocese of Laredo
Great hope filled the world when our Savior Jesus Christ was born! He was a king like no other – one who came into the world as a helpless infant. Over 2000 years later, we continue to rejoice and celebrate the holy birth of our Savior!
While stores are eager to increase their sales beginning as early as October, a pure child-like joy is shared by many who are eager for the Christmas season to begin. Christmas trees are decorated, and lights are strung, adorning homes and shopping centers. Christmas is the only holiday that invokes such a widespread desire to decorate and rejoice; and while some people miss the point of doing so, these actions point to how incredibly special Christmas is.
Year after year, it remains a time to gather with loved ones who, in many cases, we do not get to see often. It is a time to exchange gifts as a sign of love. It is a time for festivities among colleagues, friends and family members. All of this, because 2000 years ago a baby was born in a manger – one who would change the world, not because He exerted power over others while displaying a crown of jewels on His head, but because He extended merciful love and died with a crown of thorns on his head.
May the lights we see this Christmas, remind us of the great Light that came into this world to expel the darkness. Pray for the grace to allow the light of Christ to shine brightly through you. Be a light for the sick, grieving, lonely or suffering whom God places in your life.
As we gather with our families, may we remember the Holy Family, and the way in which Joseph, Mary and Jesus said “yes” to doing what God, the Father, asked of each of them. Pray for the grace to say “yes” to what God asks of you – even when it is difficult – and for the patience to allow Him to work in your life, daily.
In opening gifts, may we be reminded of the ultimate gift we have received – that of Christ the King. Praise God for this gift who changed the world. Pray for the wisdom to know how to use the gifts God has given you to bless others.
And, while stores may be eager to remove all Christmas-themed items the day after Christmas, remember that the Christmas season is just beginning. In the Church, the Christmas season does not end until the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Día de los Reyes. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I encourage you then, to continue your rejoicing and revel in the incredible miracle that we celebrate at Christmas.
I pray that each person in the Diocese of Laredo has a most joyous and blessed Christmas Season! Pause often to reflect on the Hope that was born into the world over 2000 years ago. The infant that was born on Christmas day came into this world for YOU … Todo Con Amor.