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‘Christ Is Here Among Us!’

Bishop Raica Releases His Christmas Grace & Peace Episode

Dear Friends, “May grace and peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Savior, be with you.” (Titus 1:4b)

In these final days of Advent of 2021, I am ever mindful of the great hope that the birth of Christ is for us.

Consider some of the recent events that we have been experiencing:

The coronavirus continues to plague us, in spite of a hearty vaccination campaign. It seems that this is becoming a new routine for us. Still, it can make us cynical about life in general as we wonder when it is going to finish. While we have made some progress, there is more to be done. There are still families that are away from each other during this festive season.

Consider the recent series of tornadoes that ravaged five states, especially Kentucky and the unusual weather in the Midwest. It is not unlike the experiences we have had in Alabama from tornadic activity over the years.

Consider, if you will, the economy that seems to add unrelenting price increases at the supermarket, the gas pump, the bottom line to our Christmas shopping and other goods and services without a commensurate increase in compensation. How do we get ahead with our families?

Christmas brings a clear reminder: In the midst of the darkness that can overshadow our daily life and as we wonder about our present capacity to face the future, a light has shown brightly.

We know the One we have been waiting for did not hesitate to come into the darkness, the chaos, and the mess of life. Christ is born! And the One who provides us with the greatest hope didn’t come as a nice idea or a government program – but as a person. He was born of the Virgin Mary in the stable in Bethlehem. Yes, He is “One like us!” Christ is the hope for the world that we can see, touch, and hear! His birth, His incarnation, was an event of history like no other. His presence with us today transcends all time for He promised that He would remain with us until the end of time. He is part of our human family.

So, this Christmas, our hearts beat a little stronger and are open a little wider to our neighbor. Our longing expectation of someone who would come to lead and guide us has been fulfilled. Christ is born in Bethlehem! Christ is here among us! On behalf of all of us here at the Diocese of Birmingham, I extend to you and your family a very blessed Christmas and a peace-filled New Year! ¡Feliz Navidad a todos!