A Nativity display is pictured outside a home in Chesapeake Beach, Md. The world faces so many challenges that can only be met by embracing the mission entrusted to us by Christ, say Canada’s bishops. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz

Bear witness to the hopeful joy of Christ

By 
  • December 19, 2021

A message from the CCCB President on Christmas and New Year’s Day


Dear brothers and sisters,

In union with all my brother bishops of Canada, I wish to offer you our best wishes for peace, joy and health.

For Catholics, Christmas is a time when we remember how a child came among us to save the world: Jesus, that newborn child, is God Himself who becomes one of us in order to involve us directly in the project of building the Kingdom. Through our baptismal calling, which makes us beloved children of God our Father, we are all committed to this ongoing mission to make our world more beautiful, more just and more fraternal. The newborn Christ Child saves the world: in the words of the traditional Christmas carol, “Come to Bethlehem, and see Him, whose birth the angels sing; Come, adore on bended knee Christ, our Lord, the newborn king” (“Angels We Have Heard on High”).

Yes, the Christ Child becomes our Saviour and it is to us that He is given! Oh, how this world of ours needs saving! In the arid lands of Eastern Africa, how many children suffer from thirst and hunger? In the migrant camps, how many children hope for a home and an education? How many children in our families suffer from indirect violence? How many children are concerned and taking action for the state of the Earth, our common home? And, in Canada, we continue to learn about the history of Indian Residential Schools and the intergenerational suffering experienced by Indigenous peoples. Finally, there are a multitude of challenges families face, with their children growing up in a world engaged in the fight against the pandemic.

Let us be faithful to the mission entrusted to us by the Saviour. Let us dare to question and commit to each other. Especially for the little ones among us, let us strive to be artisans of a renewed world. As Catholics, our primary responsibility is undoubtedly to bear witness to the joyful hope that is born from the light of Christ.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! Go forth in joyful mission!

+ Raymond Poisson
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

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