2019 Christmas Message from Bishop Stephen J. Berg
December 18, 2019
Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In joyful gratitude for the quiet, hidden gifts which longing for Our Savior has brought forward throughout the holy season of Advent, I send you warmest greetings! Through the many spiritual visitations of Our Lady, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, indeed all the angels and saints, and the constant presence of Our Lord throughout our diocese over the past year, we prepare now to celebrate the Solemnity of Holy Christmas!
Be prepared, now, to enter more fully into the joyful mystery! Allow the Readings to more deeply penetrate into your hearts! Let us listen and be alert for that certain, unplanned pause in our busy lives which He has prepared for us in order for Him to reach and love us. Be awake and turn to the ever-present and living silence where He awaits and be responsive to the resounding “Hush” that belongs to God alone! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
In the Readings of Christmas, the realities of the Incarnation, Emmanuel, God with Us, are presented anew. New resonance and urgent implications are being bound into our story of salvation! The prophecies of Isaiah unfold to recount the faith and hope of the chosen people of Israel that one day a Savior would come, born of a Virgin. Out of the darkness of millennia, God’s plan was proven in faith and the next step taken towards the restoration of His faithful. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light!” God chose in His plan, once and for all, to enter definitively into the fallen human condition, to be born in a manger, so that we will know, once and for all, that He is truly with us!
With a special thrill of inspiration, we recall that our salvation was made possible by the humility of Mary’s “Yes” to the Angel Gabriel. Her simple, transparent response ignites the graced, human insight, given to each of us in Baptism, and unites and enfolds our humanity into the divine, eternal, incandescent promise of salvation to which we are called. All earthly considerations are put into their proper place according to the simplicity of our “Yes” to the beautiful Christ who is born anew! As Mary pondered these things in her heart, let us wonder at the great and mighty things that God has prepared for those who love Him! Let us bring our whole-hearted “Yes” to Him that it may shine before all!
May your hearts be warmed by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph gathered around the sacred manger this holy Christmas season! I shall be remembering you and your families in the Masses and prayers I offer. May our Diocese of The Little Way continue to be blessed and ever strengthened in our mission! Rejoice and Sing Glory! Again, Sing Glory! Christ, Our Savior, is Born!
With prayerful best wishes for a joyous Christmas, I am,
Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg, D.D.
Bishop of Pueblo
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Pueblo Christmas Mass Times