Public Papers - 1989
Message on the Observance of Christmas
During the beautiful and holy season of Christmas, our hearts are filled with the same wonder, gratitude, and joy that led the psalmist of old to ask, ``When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visitest him?'' At Christmas, we, too, rejoice in the mystery of God's love for us -- love revealed through the gift of Christ's birth.
Born into a family of a young carpenter and his wife, in a stable shared by beasts of the field, our Savior came to live among ordinary men. Yet, in time, the miraculous nature of this simple event became clear. Christ's birth changed the course of history, bringing the light of hope to a world dwelling in the darkness of sin and death.
Today, nearly 2,000 years later, the shining promise of that first Christmas continues to give our lives a sense of peace and purpose. Our words and deeds, when guided by the example of Christ's life, can help others share in the joy of man's Redemption. During Christmas, we may symbolize this spirit of giving through the exchange of presents, but it is daily acts of goodness and generosity -- performed time and time again throughout the year -- that hold the true meaning of this holy season. Every kind and selfless deed we perform for others can rekindle in our hearts and in our communities the light of that first Christmas.
As we gather with family and friends this season, let us recall what our Savior's life means to the world. Let us also rededicate ourselves to sharing the love that gives greater meaning and joy to Christmas and to every moment of life.
Merry Christmas, and God bless you.