Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron offers the following Christmas message to the faithful of Metro Detroit:
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Christ is born! On behalf of the whole Church in Detroit, I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas.
This joyous time of Christmas takes place very close to the darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. It is no coincidence that we commemorate the birth of Jesus at this time of year. As the Prophet Isaiah foretold, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). These short days and long nights are a very clear reminder of our own need for the great light of Jesus in our lives.
This year in particular I have asked our local Church to take up the mission of praying for a new outpouring of grace as we discern how to live the New Evangelization. This mission of evangelization always begins with the proclamation of the Good News. What good news we have to proclaim today; God has loved us so much, that he has sent His only Son, Jesus, to take on our flesh and to be one like us in all things but sin (cf. Heb 4: 15).
The first key for us to be partakers in the New Evangelization is for us to receive this good news ourselves. Jesus is the great light that has come, not simply into the world, but perhaps even more profoundly, into my life! He has come to dispel the darkness of my sin and my fear, and to fill me with his illuminating joy.
And how does He come? He comes as a newborn child so that my heart will be open to receive Him. He comes as the son of an ordinary handmaid, in an obscure town, so that I may know that His love is not only for the rich and famous, but for the poor and the forgotten, for those who will never be known in this world; that His love is for me. Through the birth of His Son Jesus, God reminds us that He is a God of compassion and of mercy.
Jesus has come to free us from our sins and invites us to become like Him. He has taken on our flesh so that we might be like Him. Today, he calls us to receive his compassion and mercy so that we might receive his joy and peace. I encourage you today to invite Jesus into your life, for the first time, or for the hundredth. “Jesus, dispel my darkness, and be my light. Jesus, King of Kings, I trust in you.”
May the birth of the Newborn King bring the angel’s message of peace and good will to the city of Detroit. May the love of God, made incarnate in Jesus Christ, touch your heart today so that you may know and share the joy of this great feast of Christmas.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit