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‘Set some time aside from to remember this important feast’

Bishop of Gibraltar Carmel Zammit. Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

A Christmas message from the Bishop of Gibraltar Carmel Zammit.

What a gift it is to celebrate this beautiful feast, the feast of Christmas.!
Christmas brings us the gift of love, the gift of joy, the gift of peace, and the gift of faith, all incarnate in one person, that of Jesus Christ. In other words, Christmas, is Christ’s day: the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Mass!

As we gather with our family and friends, let us give thanks to God for the gift of his Son, who in him we have new life and through him, we have hope in eternal life. Let’s pray that, as we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, our Lord, we may be filled with faith, and our hope may be renewed in him.

This celebration is focused on gift giving and gift receiving, and rightly so. There is a mystery behind it. The Mystery of the God becoming one of us is God’s greatest gift to the world! Just like any gift, God’s gift needs to be received in order to provide that joy that it entails to give. Imagine a town who has been living in darkness for years, and suddenly, they see a great light! At first, their eyes might be blinded, but then, through time, they begin to see the light and begin to see and walk in confidence, knowing where they are going. When we allow God to enter our lives, and we give Him the right place in our heart, light begins to shine through, and we become able to see more clearly and walk in confidence regardless of the trials that might surround us. That is the joy that believing in Christ brings! This babe in a crib is the Great Light of God that brings joy to the world! He was born in a manger, in a difficult situation. Yet, Angels descended to announce his birth, Wise Kings from faraway lands came to recognise his divinity. On Christmas day we set some time aside from our busy lives to remember this important feast: the day our Saviour was born, over 2000 years ago. May this Christmas be one in which we give baby Jesus a very special place in our house, in our family, and in our celebrations. May our hearts be opened to receive the gift of joy, and may this joy give us peace.

To some it might be hard to be joyful in times of distress, hardships or illness. To others, it might be difficult to celebrate without dear ones who have passed away, moved away, or are no longer present in their lives. To those who are lonely this festive period, I would like to remind you: God loves you! God sees you! God hears you! You are not alone in your sorrow. The whole family of God is praying for you.
May God bring peace to those who find themselves in difficult situations. May they receive good news just like the shepherds in the field received good news from the angels who announced that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

I pray that Christmas for each of us is a joyful moment to hear the Good News once again, God is with us. May we welcome him again with hope. And may all of you, your family, and your friends have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

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