WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the United States Military Services, issued the following statement on the occasion of Christmas, 2014.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“A helpless Infant in a manger is the classic image of the Christmas message. It is the way that the Father chose to make the definitive revelation of His love to us. Almighty God chose to reveal His glory to us and assure our salvation by beginning with the birth of a baby.
“That mystery is fundamental to what we celebrate in the Christmas Season. The Word becomes flesh to save us and shows us the perfection to which each person is called. It is not merely a lesson, but a lived experience and we are invited to become participants, to enter into the mystery of divine love. It is for all. There is not, never has been, and never will be anyone not saved by Christ.
“Is that not the essence of the mercy of God, about which Pope Francis speaks so often? Is that not the basic principle behind St. Paul’s admonition to preach the truth in love? Have we not all been called to be witnesses of love and truth in the thousands of words, deeds, and thoughts that are ours?
“For this reason as your Archbishop I am pleased to have another opportunity to send you my personal greetings. Having faithful spread across the globe in the service of our Country means that occasions to gather physically in one place as an Archdiocese are very limited, but in the mystery of the Eucharist, we are united in that one sacrifice which knows no separation in time or space. You will certainly be with me at the altar in Japan where I plan to spend the last days of Advent and the first ones of the Christmas Season. For many decades the liturgical Station of this Archdiocese has been with those deployed.
“Many of you will be separated from family and loved ones at this time of year and, while I share your sacrifice, I want to thank you for your commitment to defend the ideals and freedoms that are the hallmark of the United States of America. I am equally grateful for others, our beloved Veterans and especially those who have been scarred forever while paying the price of that freedom, whose care is assured in the facilities and Medical Centers of the Veterans’ Administration.
“Of course, many will gather with their children and help them discover the wonder of the Savior’s birth. Christmas is indeed a time when members of a family want to be together. It is a time when we are reminded that the Church is a family where God is the Father. Wherever we are, we should immediately feel at home in church or in the base chapel when Mass is celebrated.
“We can draw strength from His presence despite the drudgery of duty, the crisis of values, the tsunami of secularism that assaults our society, economic concerns, and the sources of tension throughout the world. We remember the defenseless Child in a manger who announced peace for men and women of good will. Let us always cultivate that interior serenity, regardless of the storms that buffet us from without.
“On behalf of my Auxiliaries, Bishops Higgins, Spencer, Buckon, and Coyle, and the retired Bishops Roque and Madera, as well as, the staff of the Archdiocese, I wish all of you and your loved ones near and far serenity and lasting joy and I invoke abundant blessings upon you. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2015!”