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“Emmanuel” God is with us

Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Jesus is born! The Savior, the Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and Son of God is born!!! Imagine, Jesus, the Son of God and our Savior born in a stable and placed in a manger! God comes to us in humility, silently and peacefully, without causing a great disturbance.

But beyond the setting, and the sentiment, there is a truth here that strikes at the heart of every believing Christian – that truth that defines Christmas. It is there, in the middle of the gospel, in the very first words that are spoken.

“Do not be afraid.” And then it gets even better. “A savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”

These are the words we have been longing for. The savior’s very name proclaims the incredible truth that no one ever thought possible: “Emmanuel.” God is with us. It is a stunning thought, almost overwhelming.

And yet we are told: “Do not be afraid.”

Yes, it is Christmas, 2020, a year of great upheaval: a horrific pandemic that has turned our entire world upside down, bringing profound sorrow and grief to the families and loved ones of almost 1.7 million people who have died; stay-at-home orders that have challenged marriages, work situations, and family life; racial tensions that have rocked our cities; and our political election process that has been plagued by misinformation and infighting.

And yet the angel said to them and to us…DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Those shepherds got an amazing gift that first Christmas. They beheld the Christ child, the son of God, with his mother Mary, and St. Joseph.

You and I know the feeling! When we ourselves hold a newborn child in our arms, we know what those shepherds must have felt: awe at this little person, so small, so beautiful, so precious. But this little child of Bethlehem was not an ordinary baby. He is Jesus, Son of God, Son of Mary.

The angel said to them and to us…DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Across two thousand years, those words reach out to us in joy, hope, and consolation. No matter where you live, no matter who you are, no matter what your circumstances, this is what matters: Do Not Be Afraid!

So this Christmas Day, on behalf of Father Federico, the Deacons, Sister Patricia and all the Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish and School staff, I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas. Stay safe and…..Merry Christmas!

- Fr. Romans

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