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Christmas Message From Bishop Joseph N Perry
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Bishop Joseph N Perry
We who live our lives under the blessing of believing will find ourselves most fortunate in celebrating this holy season.  Our faith has given us eyes to see and appreciate the Christ-event as the moment for which all of human history has prepared and from which every believer continues to find meaning, hope and purpose in life and in death.

Jesus‘ life and teaching have caused millions to inform their minds and model their lives on His. Belief in his death and resurrection has resulted in His being called Lord and Christ by the largest group of worshippers in the world ever.  Indeed, even some who do not call themselves Christian readily admit His impact upon social mores and social discourse and moral patterning.

Scripture readings the Church selects for this season speak of God’s loving persistence in shining a light for us as we stumble in the dark.  Jesus was born amidst the darkness of night seemingly for a reason.  All that is opposite of God is given by the authors of the bible the metaphor of ‘darkness’.  To save us from darkness we are given opportunity to respond to the Good News that Christ is alive and not bound by death any longer, by sin, by hate, by misguided ideology.

Then there are some other words right out of the sacred writ: “By the tender mercy of our God the Dawn from on high shall break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  - Zechariah’s words celebrating the birth of his son, John who would be called the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ.

Although, we are a people who know the Light has come and will come again to take us with Him, nevertheless, our world still sits in the shadow of death.  In the meantime we await the fullness of the Light’s rays for darkness has no power over the Light. 

The world continues to struggle with that darkness even as the Light of God shines brightly in so many hearts ad places.  Our faith experience tells us repeatedly that there is no experience from which God is absent, no event however tragic about which God is indifferent.  We are justified in being confident because God is always at work to bring life out of death and good out of evil. 

Jesus reminded his disciples again and again, “...the kingdom of God is at hand.”  The kingdom is dawning. The Light who is Christ can already be seen in the life of the Son God sent among us.  We await its full radiance we who are the people who wait and watch and trust the Lord’s coming. For we are people of hope, people who wait for God trusting that even in our darkness God sees us and draws us to His own heart. We are God’s people living in the world in order to share the Light that we have seen calling others to see the Light along with us.

Know that the risen Jesus still challenges our opinions, disrupts our expectations, disturbs our politics and invites us to seek His wisdom and live our lives for His sake.

Sometimes, when I listen to the news or read the newspapers I want to shout, “We’re still here!”  Who’s we?  Christians, that is!  Believers!  Folks whose lives got turned upside down or right-side up by an encounter with Jesus the Christ … believers that Jesus not only as but is.
The story isn’t finished.  There are new lessons to learn, new insights to incorporate into our daily lives. We are people who believe the Light is still shining showing us how to strive to live by that light with intention and hope.

Christmas is all about that original and mot genuine love story – namely, our relentless search for finding God.  As the late superior General of the Jesuit order once put it so simply and profoundly: “Nothing is more practical than finding God … (searching for God is) what seizes your imagination (and) will affect everything.  It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart and what amazes you with joy and gratitude … nothing is more practical than finding God.”

Shepherds and Wise Men discovered this to be true and so have you and me.  This Christmas, let’s be joyful, confident that whatever darkness is in our world profound in our lives will not overcome the ever-present, gently glowing Light who is our Savior and Lord. For, we all wish to walk as children of the Light, His Light which reigns this day and forever, Amen!

2022 Bishop Joseph N Perry

[1] Luke 1, 67-79

[2] John 1, 4-5

[3] Ephesians 5, 8-14

[4] Luke 17, 20-21
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The CMCS Mission: Catholic Men Chicago Southland (CMCS) is engaged in fostering holy and courageous men and proclaiming the importance of husbands and fathers to children and the family. CMCS is a Catholic Apostolate founded in 2004 by Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Deacon John Rangel, and Mr. Frank J Casella.
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