Bishop’s message: The tenderness of God’s grace

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By Bishop Robert McElroy

The season of Christmas has so many joyous and beautiful dimensions — the recognition that God has entered into human history in order to redeem us; the perception that, in these days, our world is marked by a special sense of unity and peace; the blessings of family gatherings that reflect and deepen the unique grace that families constitute in our lives.

But a particularly profound source of joy and thanksgiving in this time of Christmas lies in the profoundly tender grace that God revealed to us in the birth of His Son. God could have chosen to redeem the world without ever entering into human history, without suffering on the cross, without knowing the hardships that accompany every human life on this earth.

But God chose to enter fully into our human existence, to be born as a child in vulnerability and in innocence, in the humblest of circumstances and without acclaim or public visibility.

This is the God of tenderness and grace, who comes to us in our own moments of vulnerability and suffering, understanding both the beauties and the struggles of our humanity because Jesus experienced them fully when He walked on this earth.

And, in that tender love, we find the greatest embrace and joy of this Christmas season, for the accompaniment that God offers to us on our earthly pilgrimage is without reservation or limit.  It is the embrace of the God who has loved us from the first moment in our mother’s womb and will love us until the end of time.

So let us rejoice in all of the graces of this Christmas season.  But let us focus most on this one: that the birth of Jesus Christ is the surest sign of an unbreakable bond of tender and deeply personal love that God has established with us forever more.

May God bless you deeply in these days.

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