Dear St. Francis family,
The late Eric Sevareid, a highly respected reporter and commentator once said, "Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we are here for something else besides ourselves."
Christmas is indeed that time of the year that gives us the opportunity to celebrate and to share. It is unfortunate that our celebration of Christmas has become so secular. Stores anticipate the season for one purpose only - to encourage people to spend money. Marketing and sales are their priorities. But Christmas is not an economic exercise, but rather a religious remembrance: the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior.
Christmas is one of the most important feasts in Christianity. The Resurrection of Jesus we celebrate on Easter Day would have not been possible without the Incarnation, God becoming human like us. And as Eric Sevareid said, Christmas reminds us that we are not alone, that we are called to care for others. We are called to share and to give not just material presents, but rather to give ourselves to others by our good deeds and love.
Our country just ended one of the most acrimonious election campaigns that one can remember. We pray that Christmas will encourage everyone to accept and to cooperate with each other to continue making our country one distinguished by charity and generosity. May the true Spirit of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord inspire all of us.
A blessed Christmas!
Fr. Tony Marti, OFM Cap.