‘In him we find hope’

A light will shine on this day, the Lord is born for us; he shall be called wonderful God, Prince of Peace, Father of the World to Come; and his kingship will never end” (Is 9-2, 6; Lk 1:33).

Long ago a young girl named Mary said yes to a life “and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.” Her words of consent were: “Let what you have said be done to me and the angel left her.”

“The Word was made flesh, he lived among us.” The yes of Mary has brought great joy to the world. “Do not be afraid, listen, I bring you news of great joy — today, in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

This is the joy and hope we celebrate during the Christmas season. “The Lord is born for us, a savior has been given to us.” The Infinite is one with us — not in the image or mere symbol nor in the vestige of a good man but the “Word was made flesh.” The finite, our poor, weak, sinful selves have been lifted to the infinite; mortality is changed to immortality.

In this union with the “Word made flesh,” Christ the Lord, we now may cry out in the spirit “Abba, Father.” Our lives are given, in Jesus our savior, a radical new dimension, a new vision; an infinite vision of life, its goodness, beauty and a new power to love.

In him we are called “to live anew and move and have our being.” Death, the symbol of all that is dark in this world, has no power over us. We are called to live triumphant lives in Christ. This world and all its principalities and powers has been conquered in the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.

This is the good news of Christmas and we should proclaim this news to the whole world. In him we have been reconciled to the Father; in him we find forgiveness of sin; in him we have the hope and promise of eternal life; in him, in the holy sacrifice, the Eucharist, our redemption continues. We are nourished by his sacred body and blood.

How can this good news be heard by a world full of noise and grasping for things? It can be heard in the spirit proclaimed by each one of us, by our words and the holiness of our lives. Let us not put the good news under a bushel basket, but let us shout from the housetops the good news of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.

If Christ’s love cannot be found in this world is it possible Christians cannot be found? If the voice of Christ is silent, it is because Christians are silent.

May you have a most blessed Christmas and, in Christ, a new year filled with the joy of the Spirit, Christ Jesus, our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer.

Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin, Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston