Living out the true spirit of Christmas

Categories: Messages from Bishop Kettler

bishops_messageDuring the season of Advent, as the feast of Christmas approaches, people often talk about getting into the “spirit of Christmas.” For many, this means striving to be a little more joyful and generous at this time of year, more merciful and forgiving. It means making a conscious decision to act more like Christ as we prepare to celebrate his birth.

God loves us so much that he became one of us. This is the “good news of great joy” that we celebrate at Christmas. My hope is that you will invite Christ into your life, spend time with him and get to know him better — not only during this Christmas season, but every day of your life.

Jesus indeed came to us in a manger at Bethlehem. But he also is present every time we celebrate the Eucharist. And, we must look for his face in each and every person we encounter in our lives: our family members, friends and co-workers to be sure, but also the mom and dad at the food shelf struggling to feed their children, the homeless man on the street, the elderly couple at the nursing home, the immigrant and the prisoner.

Many people are lonely. Some are tough to love. Others are victims of injustices and other difficult circumstances. They are in need of the “good news of great joy” that the angel announced to the Bethlehem shepherds. Our world and our
nation are also in great need of Christ’s peace at this time.

“Many people are lonely. Some are tough to love. Others
are victims of injustices and other difficult circumstances.
They are in need of the ‘good news of great joy’ that the
angel announced to the Bethlehem shepherds.”
— Bishop Donald Kettler

Christ reaches out to every person with his divine love, peace, mercy and forgiveness, and he calls on his disciples to do the same. We live the true “spirit of Christmas” all year round when we live out our diocesan mission statement: proclaiming the presence of Christ in our world by being “his heart of mercy, voice of hope, and hands of justice” every day of our life.

I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas filled with joy, peace and a spirit of discipleship that lasts the whole year.

+ Donald J. Kettler
Bishop of St. Cloud

Christmas Eve at the cathedral Bishop Donald Kettler is the celebrant for the 10 p.m. Mass Dec. 24 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud.
(Instrumental music and carols will begin at 9:30 p.m.)