Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
December 25, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I write this message, we are drawing very near to the beautiful feast of Christ’s birth. I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very blessed Christmas season.
This time of year is filled with many celebrations and customs, which we observe with family, friends and loved ones. It is an especially rich time of year to celebrate with fellow believers. The liturgical celebrations of Christmas help us gaze more deeply into the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation.
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas Day), the Feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 30), the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God (Jan. 1), the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 8) and the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9) unfold for us the mystery of God’s mercy-made-flesh, so that we might savor more deeply its meaning for our lives and our world.
The saints whose memorials and feasts we observe give us a vision of the holiness that is offered to all: Saint Stephen, the First Martyr (Dec. 26), Saint John the Evangelist (Dec. 27) and The Holy Innocents (Dec. 28) are just a few of the wonderful saints whose feasts form a beautiful constellation of joy surrounding the radiant Star of Bethlehem!
Our secular culture will have grown weary of its version of Christmas by the time the presents are unwrapped and the sales after Christmas have run their course. For those who seek the true meaning of Christmas, however, the Christmas season is just beginning! It is unfolding and revealing its gifts throughout the sequence of beautiful feasts to come!
I hope you have had a blessed Advent. This Christmas day, as on every Sunday of the year, I will offer Mass for your intentions. Let us pray that our Christmas celebrations will renew in each of us a profound experience of the joy of the Gospel, of God’s inexhaustible mercy and a deep desire to know Jesus more intimately, so that we might love him more intensely and follow him more faithfully. God is with us!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City