Christmas Letter

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today is born a Savior, Christ the Lord!

Our hearts are filled with joy this day and all creation exalts in praise for Salvation has come to the world in Jesus Christ!  This is our faith and this is what gives meaning to our lives.  That God in his love for us has given us His only Son, who has taken our human condition upon himself so that we in turn might live in all eternity with Him!  Now to many, this sentence seems like utter nonsense.  What is there to be joyful about?  Why should we exalt?  What do we need a savior for in the first place?  To be saved from what?  What difference does it make if Jesus was born or not or if He is God or not?

That’s fair and those are honest and sincere questions.

Who can deny that the world is in many ways a big hot mess?  Russian collusion, Impeachment, red state/blue state divide, trade wars, crime and violence, border walls, gender dysphoria, cyber bullying, economic disparity, Islamic Terrorism, market volatility, racial tensions, #MeToo, freeway traffic and road construction, prescription drug prices, clergy sexual abuse, global warming, opioid crisis and on and on and on.  But then it always has been.  The world of 2000 years ago did not have ISIS or I-phones but there were terrorists and new means of communication were being introduced to unite the masses.  There were political upheavals and economic challenges.  Yet, amidst human struggles and suffering, confusion and frustration there was still a hope for something better. This was the world where in a tiny Judean town in the backwater of the Roman Empire, a baby was born.  Truth be told, outside a few ragged and smelly shepherds almost no one noticed or was aware.  But in that moment, the world changed.  

That baby grew to be a boy and then a man.  Except for a brief period of his life, he was basically unknown and his life hidden.  A carpenter turned itinerant rabbi, he changed the world.  While the power of his words drew crowds and miracles were attributed to him, in the end he was rejected by the religious establishment, betrayed by his closest followers and arrested, convicted and executed as a political insurrectionist by the ruling civil authorities.  Dying an ignominious death as a political criminal, he changed the world.  He wrote no stirring manifestos or intriguing autobiography.  He commanded no army and led no revolt but he has changed the world.

The power of Jesus is the power of love, the power of mercy and the power of hope.  Jesus changed the world because of who He is – the Light of the World, Son of God, The Word made flesh, The Way, the Truth and the Life.  Jesus changed the world in what he did.  In the birth of Jesus, creation received divinity and humanity received perfection.  In the death and resurrection of Jesus, the world received redemption. The world still shows its brokenness and new scars are added each day, but because of Jesus, the baby in a manger who became the man on the cross, evil has been defeated and death has been conquered for all those who believe in Him.  A world of division and hatred is offered a path of healing and reconciliation.  Hearts that are broken are restored.  Lives weighed down under the burden of despair are renewed and filled with hope.  The darkness of sin and death has forever been shattered by a light that cannot be extinguished.  By his birth, life, death and resurrection, the world has been saved from crimes of our own making.   Jesus has changed the world!

Today is born a Savior, Christ the Lord!

In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy