Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ…

As we come to the Christmas Season, I greet you and your loved ones in the name of the Christ Child.

Christmas, the feast of the Incarnation,
provides each of us this year with a gift.
The image of the Holy Family, the gospel
story of the birth of Jesus, and
circumstances in which we encounter this
reality provides us with a third way, the
Jesus way, to live in the midst of a world
terribly divided by political, economic, and nationalistic tensions.

What if each of us seeks to bring love and light, warmth and peace, to the situations of our lives much like the Christ Child breaking into the reality of the world in real time? As much as each of us wants to be “right” as opposed to all that seems wrong or out of place, what if the option was to love? Jesus in the Christmas reality offers redemption and peace as the answer to conflict and strife.

Peace on earth and mercy mild seem like distant, unattainable realities in the midst of our present world—actually no more or less than any other time in history. This Christmas season provides a third way, the Jesus Way, to incarnate love, to offer small gestures found in the redemption and peace of Christ for the world.

And you and I are the delivery system for this “Jesus Way”. Embrace the season, embrace the mission –carry the redeeming love and peace of Christ to the places and people in your life.

Sisters and brothers have a happy and joy-filled Christmas Season. Embrace the Jesus Way and live the message! Merry Christmas.

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano Bishop of Long Island

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