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“Joy to the World,” Brothers and Sisters! I repeat — “Joy to the World”!

It is with these words of the Christmas carol which we sing at the conclusion of the Christmas Mass that I would like to greet you this Christmas. The carol that is sung in forte with all musical instruments available, including trumpets, draws its power not from the strength of these instruments or human voices but, above all, from the message that it is announcing.

Two thousand years ago, the Incarnation of the Son of God changed the face of the world once and forever. From that time, nothing in the world is the same — everything is different. The fullness of time came when God revealed Himself fully in his Son, Jesus Christ. He showed mankind the Father, taught us how to live on earth, and opened the road for us that leads to eternal life. This is the reason why we are singing joyfully and loudly “Joy to the world”. The more we understand what happened in Nazareth — the Incarnation, the conception of Jesus; Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem; His salvific death on Calvary and His resurrection — the more festively we will sing carols and celebrate the feast of Christmas.

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord in Bethlehem, we cannot forget about the people living in the Holy Land who are now suffering terribly there. There are over 1.5 million displaced, deprived of homes, shelter, food, water, electricity and nearly 20,000 killed there, including 7,000 children. May God and everyone of goodwill help stop the suffering of the people in the Holy Land where our Lord was born and lived.

On this holy day of Christmas, let us pray individually or with our entire family to the Newborn Messiah:

May your Presence, Prince of Peace, bless the world with peace, the poor with care and prosperity, the despairing with hope and confidence, the grieving with comfort and gladness, the oppressed with freedom and deliverance, the suffering with solace and relief. Loving Jesus, you are the only real joy of every human heart. I place my trust in you.

May God bless you and your families this Christmas and in the New Year,

Fr. Mark Jurzyk