Once again we have come around to the celebration of Christmas, which unlike what some persons would like us to believe, is not a secular feast. It is the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, for us Christians, our Lord and saviour. The Gospel of St. John tells us that “he came to his own and his own did not receive him but to all who did receive him he gave power to become children of God.” They did not receive him I suppose because they did not recognise him. Who would have thought that the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes was in fact the Son of God yet this infant was in fact Emmanuel God with us.
We celebrate this feast in the midst of trying times for the country. We have just ended the state of emergency, an alleged assassination plot against government figures, threats of industrial unrest and murders which appear to be on the rise again. We must ask ourselves to what does this feast call us. It cannot be that we are simply called to have a good time. That we will do, but we must ask ourselves what gift do we bring to the One whose birthday we celebrate? For us who believe, to those whom he gave the power to become children of God, like the child of God par excellence we have to be Emmanuel, God with us, for all those with whom we come into contact. Like Emmanuel we must bring the love of God to all people, a love not expressed simply in words but much more in action. And this we must do not only at Christmas time but all the year round. This is the gift which the Lord whose birthday we celebrate wants. If we give him this gift we will be doing our land a great favour.
To every single person in this land, a safe, happy and holy Christmas and a New Year filled with God’s richest blessings.
Archbishop of Port of Spain
Also taken from the Archdiocese website:
I wish you all a blessed Christmas. May the peace of the Christ Child remain with us all beyond the Christmas season.The Christmas Cycle of the Liturgical Year embraces a number of major themes in Catholic spirituality: the Birth of the Lord, the Feast of the Holy Family (Friday 30), the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God (Sunday, Jan 1) and the Epiphany of the Lord (Sunday, Jan 8). The Christmas cycle closes on Monday, January 9 with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. I ask your continued prayer for Archbishop Gilbert who is recuperating from surgery and will celebrate his 75th birthday on December 26.
I thank you for your usual generosity to the clergy of the archdiocese at this time and for your continuing response to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.
Well, Happy Birthday Archbishop Gilbert. We share a great birthday - the feast of St Steven.