Friday, December 19, 2014

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Viewpoints

Bishop Jugis: Birth of Jesus reminds us of God's love for us today

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CHARLOTTE — In his Christmas homily at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, Bishop Peter J. Jugis encouraged the faithful to remember God's eternal love – a truth that is as real today as it was 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.

The cathedral was filled with worshippers for the traditional Mass at midnight on Dec. 25.

"God is love," Bishop Jugis said, and "Christmas is a celebration of God's great love for us."

"What else but love would cause God to be born in the lowly place of a stable in Bethlehem?" he said. "Jesus, the Son of God, born in Bethlehem, is proof of God's great love for us" and for our salvation.

The truth that God is love, declared with Jesus' birth, reverberated throughout Jesus' public ministry and in His sacrifice on the cross, Bishop Jugis said. And sacred Scriptures repeatedly remind us that God loves each of us.

"That is precisely one reason why Christianity is so attractive," he said, and why even non-Christians are caught up in the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas is the "proclamation of the truth" that God has come to us in our humanity, that He "does not remain aloof or distant from us."

"God loves us so much," Bishop Jugis said, that "He sent His Son to live among us, save us, and show us the way."

The statement that "today is born our Savior," he noted, does not refer simply to a specific historical event long ago in Bethlehem.

This truth is declared in the present tense – right now, at this moment in time, "His birth touches our today."

122811-bishop-jugis-recessional"Today is born for you a savior, Christ the Lord," he emphasized.

He prayed that Christ can be born today in our hearts, so that we may live in His eternal love.

"His love is always waiting for us to enter into it," he said.

God's love, through the working of the Holy Spirit, can transform us and open our hearts, he said. We should seek to live by that truth, recommitting ourselves to living in God's love and demonstrating our love for others – following Jesus' advice to love God and one another as He loves us.

— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor

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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: