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Father Eric’s weekly message: December 24, 2023

Dear Friends in Christ,

As Christmas dawns, I will leave it to Christina Rosetti to summarize the excitement of the hour:

CHRISTMAS hath darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Indeed, the stable in Bethlehem was only the beginning of Jesus’ being “brought for us so low.” Because of it, we too must, by his grace, bring ourselves low for one another: not just those with whom we will gather around tables and trees in this day, but also the poor, the lonely, and those who have forgotten or never known the world-transforming reality of the Son of God who “by the power of the Holy Spirit, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” That homo factus est“[he] became man” – is the most exalted and profound mystery which two millennia later should cause us immense wonder and awe.

Thank you all for your love and devotion to Christ and his Church, especially here in our corner of West Philadelphia. On behalf of all the priests, our deacon and seminarian, the sisters, and our amazing staff, Merry Christmas to you!

–Father Eric Banecker