Where is Baby Jesus?

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas. It’s been a long year -the pandemic with its new faces still with us, major military buildups across the planet, dictators suppressing human rights, waging war on children both unborn and born, trans men taking over women sports, fake news, and the list continues as I read the morning newspaper. And yes, Christmas 2021 is here, at least as a holiday. But what is missing in today’s troubled world? Simply put, Christmas is missing, Christ is missing. We celebrate Christmas without Christ. It’s like celebrating your birthday without you.

Christmas. What is the real meaning of Christmas 2021? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the Christmas cards in the mail, meals with family and friends, snow in the backyard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

Recalling the familiar figures of Mary and Joseph in the stable at Bethlehem, the humble shepherds, and the rich and powerful Magi from the East, the Pope explains, “The message of the Gospel is clear: the birth of Jesus is a universal event that concerns all of humanity.” Not only the rich and middle class, but also the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the exiles, the naked, the ill, the prisoners, migrants and aging society.

Christmas concerns all humanity. Rather than forcing Christ out of Christmas, humanity must put “the birth of Jesus” back into the family, into society and into today’s troubled world. The Birth of Jesus is the true meaning of life, the reason “why life is worth living.” The Catholic Church teaches us that recognition of God is in no way hostile to man’s dignity, since this dignity is rooted and perfected in God.

With the Christmas season fast approaching, Pope Francis on Wednesday took the opportunity of the weekly General Audience to reflect on the birth of Jesus – an event that “history cannot dispense with.”

The Pope invites us to return to the message of the Angel at Bethlehem: “Peace on earth to those with whom He is pleased.” He noted, with the Apostle John, that love consists “in this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us” and that “we love because He first loved us.” This is the foundation of our joy”, “the foundation of peace in the world”.

With that thought in mind, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Holy and meaningful Christmas 2021 with the “birth of Jesus” at its center. And yes, the family gatherings, the meals, exchanging gifts, visiting grandparents are always very beautiful – but may there also be the awareness that the little child comes “for me” in these gatherings. He came and provided a way for me – the only way – to spend eternity with Him.

Pope Francis asks us to pray and seek with humility the grace to break the mirror of vanity, of pride, of looking at ourselves. Rather, we should look at the “birth of Jesus”, look toward the horizon and seek “the infant child” (God Himself) who comes to us and who touches our hearts with that restlessness that brings hope and peace to all humanity.”

To give up one’s very self – to think only of others – how to bring the greatest happiness to others – that is the true meaning of Christmas.” — The American magazine, volume 28 from 1889.

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Christmas 2021. God Bless and be assured of my thoughts and prayers.



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