Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a great privilege for me to greet you on this first
Christmas as your bishop. I am so very grateful for the gracious welcome you
have extended to me and for the assurance of your continued prayers.
At Christmas, we sing “Joy to the World.” However, this is more
than a seasonal carol. It is the hope and prayer that we hold deep within our
hearts. Genuine and lasting joy is found only in an intimate relationship with
Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Mary, the Savior of the World.
As we celebrate the great feast of Christmas, may we be renewed
in our commitments to stay close to the Lord by faithfully attending Mass, by
frequently celebrating God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance, by praying
daily and by imitating the Lord’s humble and sacrificial service especially in
our compassionate care of those in most need. When we live in such a way, we
will know genuine joy and will be instruments in bringing that precious gift to
all the world.
It is my hope and prayer that through the intercession of Mary
and Joseph, our Lord Jesus will abundantly bless you with His peace and joy
throughout the Christmas season and always.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Arlington